How is it possible for such a little kid to grow up so much in just a week???
While we were visiting Zach’s family for Thanksgiving, Zoey spent a good amount of time sleeping in real beds, rather than a crib. We’d been talking about moving her to a real bed soon anyway, so we decided to go ahead and convert her crib to a toddler bed.
Her first night in it was Sunday night and she went right to bed, slept the whole night through, and didn’t climb out until I came in to get her in the morning.
Of course, she has a cold she caught over Thanksgiving, so her “bedtime compliance” may be short-lived, but I’m grateful for it while I have it.
Also on our trip, Zoey spent a lot of time playing with her two older cousins and getting to have free run of the grandparents’ house for the first time. She really enjoyed the independence and truly blossoms when playing with older children. We stopped at a small town library for a break on our way home. They had a fun room for kids with a puppet theater, shelves of children books and simple toys like blocks. While playing in there, Zoey spotted a group of other children. Normally Zoey stays back from groups and prefers to just observe quietly rather than participate, but not this time. She went right up to the other children and said, “Hi kids! Hi kids! I’m reading books” in an effort to get them to interact with her. I was so proud.
While at the library we also encountered a girl about 9 or 10 years old who noticed the two missing fingers on Zoey’s left hand. She was intensely curious and made rather a big deal about it, asking lots of questions and pointing it out to her brother and sister. We answered her questions with a positive tone (“She was born that way. She is one in a million. She can do anything and everything she wants to with her hand.”) and watched nervously as the three children asked Zoey to show them her hand pointed out to her that her hand was different from theirs. No one had ever done that before. Zoey took it all in stride, however. Back in the car I noticed Zoey quietly examining her left hand. She didn’t say anything or seem upset.
I worry so much about how other kids are going to react to Zoey’s hand as she grows up. I know firsthand just how cruel children can be, and I can’t stand the thought of anyone making this sweet, funny, intelligent, beautiful girl feel less than perfect. How do I fortify her against that inevitable day when someone makes her doubt her own worth? I want to protect her from all the hurts in the world, but I know that someday – way too soon – she will need to stand up for herself. I hope, when that day comes, the unconditional love and support we’ve given her will be enough to help her stand tall and proud and know that she IS perfect. She truly is one in a million.