Twenty One Months

I thought we had three more months until you became two.  I thought we had three more months until you had opinions about everything, until phrases like "big girl" and "Ellie do by self" entered your vocabulary.

It's not surprising, I guess.  You had opinions from the beginning; you fought feedings and naps you didn't think you needed.  You stood and walked early.  You wanted your independence fiercely even then.
But we had this nice stretch of a few months where you were so amenable.  When I asked you a question, you generally said yes, happy to simply have your opinion considered.  Now, I've stopped asking if you want eggs for breakfast or turkey and cheese for lunch because even though you love these foods, you will tell me no, simply because you can.
I'm glad that you are becoming your own little person.  It's normal and natural and right.  But it's unnerving sometimes to see how much will there is in you, how strongly you protest doing what you should.  I see places you will need to change and grow and mature, and I can feel overwhelmed at the prospect of parenting you in those places.
But the process of you becoming your own little person is also delightful, for parenting is not simply about correction and discipline.  It is also about developing and nuturing your God-given gifts and abilities, the interests and strengths He's built into you that I am starting to see a little more clearly these days:  your love of Irish dancing and puzzles of all sorts, your observant and verbal nature.
I guess what I am trying to say, my Ellie girl, is that I'm seeing more and more that you are human.  You are weak and you are strong.  You amaze me and you horrify me.  You have been made in God's image, and you fall far short of His glory.  And I love you, all of you, even the almost-two parts of you.