Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Living in the Eye

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If you follow the blog or know us at all, I hardly need to tell you that Sophia is a lot. She's not too much, but she is more than most. That is the definition of a "spirited child." I know. Many people will think that "spirited" is just a friendly way of saying "difficult." But the truth is, it's just more accurate. Difficult, as a description, just doesn't cut it. There is so much more to her than challenge. Spirited also falls short of the mark, but I think that's the point. Kids with this type of personality or temperament defy labels and description.

Let me just tell you what makes Sophia a "spirited" child. Focus. A one-track mind. Most kids can be distracted - by something they love to do or by humor. Not so with Sophia. If she gets focused on something, nothing (and I've tried it all) can distract her. Let's say a circus came through in the middle of a throwdown. Even then, if she became interested momentarily, she would come right back to her point with as much fervor as before.

Another characteristic of a spirited child is sensitivity. This is both good and bad. She is more aware of what other people are feeling at any given moment, but she is also more aware of her own feelings and has no qualms about expressing them as largely as she feels them. When she is sensitive and sweet to others, there is no rival for the heart-breaking tenderness she expresses. On the other hand, when she is wailing because of the injustice of not being given a choice on what to eat for dinner, the sensitivity is less charming.

There are several more attributes and countless examples of Sophia's personality. Most days, I start my day with a prayer from the bottom of my heart for patience and enough peace in my soul to sustain us both. Most days my prayers are answered. Other days... Well, I get some alone time when Erick gets home. Please don't misunderstand. Sophia is not too much for me and for Erick. She is just right. And I consider being her parent a gift. Really.

This post has been on my mind for some time. I have debated about whether or not to write about this part of our life. It is hard to open up the tenderest part of our family for public examination, but I know we're not alone in this. I'm hopeful that our experiences will have others laughing, crying, nodding their heads or just reading. It took me a while to decide for sure that I'm all right with this being forever in print (assuming the internet isn't destroyed in 2012). But I decided that when Sophia is an adult, I am okay with her realizing that I understand that there is a lot going on inside of her. And that I have always tried my hardest to help her navigate the many highs and lows of being an emotional being. It's not like that's going to change with time. She will always be Sophia - who is more than most in every way. I am so glad to be her mother.

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