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Meet Alicia: Category 4

Another one of those moments when a mama gets our questionnaire to complete with their photos and we are reminded how needed it is to share in the joys and bumps in the road.

Meet Alicia.

So when we got your email we both had a good laugh (mine was sort of a laugh cry) because we got it right at the peak of the hottest of hot mess mornings. Today is Alex's birthday, so I was feeling the pressure of "must make this a happy magical day for him. Or at least let him have 10 minutes of peace and coffee before the home crazy assaults him." Unfortunately, we've had thunderstorms the past couple of nights, so sweet 13-year-old George (the lab/border collie mix) freaked out, locked himself in the bathroom and left a big gift for me to clean up while dodging the fat angry cat who seemed extra fierce and combative (she's on a diet and pretty picky about food time these days).

All surrounded by the storm known as "age 4". It's like age 4 heard tales of "terrible twos" and "threenager", took it as a personal challenge and said, "Here, hold my Paw Patrol thermos and watch this." This morning's age 4 storms stemmed from not having kiwi and a cheesestick, having kiwi and a cheese stick except on the same plate (why would I do that to her?), and the horror of horrors -- putting her pants on and combing her hair. In these moments when I also lose my own mind over the evil cheese stick, kiwi, pants and comb, I've started getting defiantly thankful.

I breathe and thank God that she is exactly as she is. And that I am exactly as I am. And that this crazy moment is exactly as it is. And then I get honest. Because a four year old will inform you that she is a "big guhl now" and up for such hard truths. I look her in the eye and tell her that she's obviously grumpy, and I am frustrated, but that we've still got to work together. And then I keep putting one foot in front of the other and watch for the miracles of parenting. Because they always show up.

Today's was when she tossed confident "good mornings" and "thank yous" all over the preschool when we walked in and proudly delivered some art she'd made for one of her teachers. Yes, the same little girl who had just treated me like her incompetent maid/cook/lady's maid had noticed her teacher having a rough day yesterday and decided to make some art for her covered in smiley faces and a dictated "have a good day. I love you."

These miraculous peeks into the big heart of empathy that's growing inside that crazy storm known as 4 keep me going through the next swirl of chaos.

Nashville, TN,

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