I spend most of my days with a three-year-old and a one-year-old so I know exactly what Soleil means when she named her parenting book Happy Chaos. Frankly, it describes my life perfectly.
My 3½ year old son started preschool this year but he was ready for his first lessons the minute his eyes could focus on the bright new world outside of the womb. He was born quiet, observant and lost in thought. Quickly we realized his mind was like a solar panel, absorbing everything around him – sounds, letters, words – and storing it all to be used later. He talks endlessly and has so many interesting questions. Seeing life filtered through his big brown eyes is nothing short of fascinating.
It is also very revealing. My heart swells with love when I see him mimic some of my most subtle tendencies – a facial expression or an exclamation that I don’t realize I use. He has taken what he has seen so many times and made it his own. It is in those moments I realize that I created this person – that he is part of me, yet he is a unique individual. After just three years of being his mother, that reality stops me in my tracks every time. It is a constant reminder that young children watch what you do like you are their one source of information in the world – and I try to do my best knowing I am setting an example for him in everything I do.
My daughter is a single force of happy chaos all her own. She is always smiling and laughing. She loves life with everything her nineteen months have given her. Watching her learn, love, and grow every day is pure joy. It’s also raising my blood pressure (you didn’t forget the chaos part, did you?). The girl is fearless. She skillfully climbs the highest ladders at the park. She loves to run as fast as she can and dive into a big fluffy pile of pillows. She saunters right up and sticks her tiny hands in the face of the most menacing dogs.
Her first steps should have told me everything I needed to know about her. My daughter did not spend months or even weeks cruising around on furniture. She crawled everywhere until one day she simply stood up and starting walking. She knew she was ready and she went for it – giggling with every wobbly step.
My children are amazing – and exhausting. As their mother I feel constantly blessed – and worried (am doing everything I can for them?). As a family, we make it up as we go and love every minute of it. We are perfectly happy in the chaos of our lives.