My youngest was christened with the nickname Hurricane because this is generally how she tears through life. The last 20 words I've uttered, after making sure my mother was going to trim my Crepe Myrtles so that I didn't butcher them, have been (in no particular order) "Stop!" "1-2-don't make me say 3!" "Get away from the spider-infested playhouse!" "Go wrestle with your dad!!!" If you followed me around with a recorder, this is my daily mantra. Some people have om; I have "So help me God!"
I know people judge me when they see her sometimes-well-maybe-alot of questionable behavior. Truly, I feel bad because they think she is a heathen and undisciplined. Some of it is pity for myself, but more so for her. She is a hard child to parent because to try to reign her in would only cause her to fight more.
I admit I have added to it. When people have asked how she is, I respond, "If she'd been first, she'd been last." However, that is possibly the truth. This girl is a work-out 24-7. There is no downtime for her, which means no downtime for us. As much as I delight in her, there are days when I wish for a kid who would go play quietly with some dolls or trucks or crayons or something...just something.
She is so golden and pure and good. There is a light within her that is unlike anything I have ever encountered. She is fearless and full of wisdom. She is a teller of the truth, even when it wounds those who need to hear it.
Recently she was holding up the bathroom line at preschool. Her teacher was concerned she was taking a bit too long to take care of business, so she gently opened the door to check on her. There she was, drawers at her ankles on the pot with her chubby four-year-old hands clasped in prayer. The teacher, who knows and loves her, gently asked who she was praying for, she responded her grandpa needed some extra prayers that day. The teacher let her finish her business (both toiletry and prayers) and she moved on with her life for the day.
She can tell you where President Andrew Johnson is buried and much about his life. She knows that the leaves are turning colors and falling because the chlorophyll is leaving them. And, yes, she uses the word chlorophyll. She understands how echos work. She is amazing.
I know that raising her will be a challenge. She is going to test every boundary we and society set for her. She will test her teachers and try their patience. But she is going to be a freaking mind-blowing adult. I believe she will embrace every hurdle life hands her. She will stomp through life willing everyone to live as fiercely as she does. And I think they will.
"And though she be but little, she is fierce." Right on, Shakespeare...right on.