Monday, December 20, 2010

Two Years of Anna Clare

A few weeks ago my second daughter turned 2. I’ve been thinking a lot about a letter I wrote her the first week of her life. I wrote about how much I loved her, and how I was so excited to see what being her mom was going to mean for my life. I also observed that I didn’t feel as though I knew anything about her, except that I loved her. To be honest, two years later I still feel that same way many days!

Her daddy was convinced she would be a he. After much waiting and worry, she came fast and before we knew it, we had two daughters. Her arrival sent us into such a whirlwind we had a difficult time choosing her name. She just didn’t “look” like any of the names we had picked out.

She has been difficult to read from the time she started moving within me and she has been difficult to get to know. She didn’t arrive with the goal of making herself know as her sister did. She has her own world, and has a tough time inviting others in – or caring much at all about joining the rest of the world. For this I loved her instantly, and this has been the challenge of being her mother.

She’s smart. Not in the way that she will recite facts we have made her memorize as is generally easy to do with a two year old. She has no interest in sharing her knowledge to please us; or anyone else for that matter. She seeks knowledge. It’s the very air she breathes. She wants to know how things work and will destruct anything to make that happen. Things are for a purpose – and it is ingrained in her to figure out what that is and how it works. She doesn’t care much for the aesthetic appeal of things. She wants to take it apart and put it back together, its color means nothing to her.

At age 2 she is already skilled at any and all things wires and cords

Anna is as sweet and loving as a little girl can be. She needs no affirmation and takes no direction. An empty corner and a project to figure out does more for her little mind than an audience. We had no idea she knew all of her numbers and letters until I overheard her whispering under her breathe while I taught her sister. I never taught her, she taught herself, and that is how she likes it.

There is never any middle ground with her. She is all or nothing. She lives constantly on one end of the emotional spectrum and refuses being taught to move away from that way of life. This is my biggest concern for her, and one of my proudest moments as a mother. I don’t worry about the trouble she will get into as a follower. Her own impulses are way too strong to follow anyone else’s.

Who says a little girl must laugh and smile at her birthday party? Why do that when you can read a book alone!!

This makes her a difficult child to parent. She cannot be forced to eat or sleep. Still, at age 2, she is up 3 times a night. Sleep training continues to fail her. She has not yet learned to comfort herself, nor does she seek comfort from her parents. She needs to cry and scream for hours and must get out what she needs to get out. She’s uncontrollable in a brilliant way. We have no idea what to expect from her in life, and although it is a very tiresome way to live and we have grown weary since her birth, it has also been one of the greatest joys of my life. Her daddy and I joke about how every grey hair and worry line can be directly linked to her birth, but that she will be the child to make a discovery or cure a disease and fund our retirement.

She is loving and goofy, the most serious and the silliest. She has an amazing ability of communicating with large animals that is foreign to every other member of her family; yet communicating with people seems to be a struggle for her. Fearless and powerful, if there is one thing I know about her, it is that she will always amaze me.

She makes me a better person. She teaches me daily that God has a plan and that sometimes it’s hard, but still perfect. She gives wonderful hugs and her smile has the power to bring joy to me like no other.
I can’t wait for her to be a big sister this year. I just know she’ll be awesome at it – and she’ll do it in a completely original and surprising way!

Happy 2nd Birthday Anna Clare!


Lagartija said...

What a beautiful post! It was neat to read about Anna Clare's personality- and what a great memoire for her to look back at from you! (Funny that you and I were posting on opposite aspects of the sleep issues spectrum at the same time too!)

Second Chances said...

She is so stinkin' cute! I love how beautifully you describe her. I feel like I know her just from your words. Happy Birthday Anna Clare! And I LOVE your name. Oh, and your dessert looks DIVINE!

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Holly, this is beautiful and bittersweet all at once. I feel much the same about one of my children in particular: passionately in love with and confused about all at the same time. I think you are further in your embracing of what is sometimes a cross, even though I'm further head in the parenting game. Thanks for inspiring me to love all of who my child is, even when it's very difficult. :) And Happy Birthday to your dear daughter!

Katie said...

Happy Birthday, Anna! And tell your Mommy Happy Birthday from all of us on her birthday, too!

Kim said...

Isn't it amazing how two sisters (or brothers) can be so different? I hope your girls' personalities compliment each other as well as my boys' do (much of the time). Makes me wonder, what will this third girl be like? Happy birthday Anna Clare, and happy birthday Holly!!