Four years ago today, I became a mother. This tiny bundle has led me on the most amazing journey. I won’t say my “greatest” adventure, as marriage to my husband has been quite a ride, but she has changed me, grown me, and molded me into the woman God wants me to be.
When I look at Natalie, I can’t believe she is four. She is ready to go to preschool, and will be starting “real” school soon. She is inquisitive, loving, sensitive, and her own individual person. I can’t believe I am the mom of a four year old. Four sounds so old.
Natalie: Two Years Old
Here are some things about Natalie at the age she is that I want to remember:
She is my sensitive child. When her sister is hurt and crying, she will go into her room and find a stuffed animal to bring to Megan. A beloved plaything that is broken or torn will bring hours of sad tears. These are not fits, but they are genuine sadness. If our smaller dog is hiding under the bed because she wants some alone time, Natalie will run to me with true tears in her eyes and say, “Mommy, Cookie doesn’t like me any more!” I am not looking forward to the day one of our dogs dies. When grandma and grandpa left this week, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “It’s not fun to say goodbye to someone you love.”
Natalie: Three Years Old
She is my thinker. She will figure out a way to make what she wants to do work, even if the initial answer is “no.” Often, I have to rethink why I said no. Sometimes after she appeals I realize there is no good reason to say “no” and let her do her wish. Other times, I stick to the rule, just so she learns she can’t get out of whatever she wants by coming up with a creative solution.
She is a question-asker. The questions are getting harder, too. The other day she said, “Mommy, why do kids die?” As much as I wanted to reassure her that kids don’t die and she wont’ die any time soon, I will not make promises to my child that I cannot keep. We had to have a hard talk at that time about life and God and heaven.
Natalie: Four Years Old!
She’s an artist. Natalie loves to create. She will cut, glue, color, paint, and otherwise do art as much as I will let her.
Here are some of her favorites:
Favorite color: Usually pink, but sometimes whatever color the toy she is holding is or the dress she is wearing is.
Favorite food: Lollipops, chicken nuggets, strawberries
Favorite activity: Reading, playing games, doing puzzles
Favorite place to go: Church
Favorite movie: Usually the one she just finished watching, but otherwise “The Lion King,” which is a Disney sing-along video not the full-length movie.
Favorite book: I don’t think she has a favorite. She loves princess books.
Favorite toy: Again, whatever has caught her fancy at the moment. She probably spends the most time playing with her my little ponies.
Here are some accomplishments over the last year:
Getting over her fear of dressed up characters
Visiting Florida for the first time
Climbing to the top of the playground at the indoor play place
Swinging on a “big girl” swing
Learning to like some new foods, including nuts (a big deal for her)
Figuring out how to dress herself (still needs mommy for snaps, socks and some pairs of shoes)
Memorizing John 3:16
First sleepover (at our house with her cousin)
Learning to writer her name
Recognizing all of her letters (most of the time)
Learning to read a digital clock
Four years ago today you made me a mother. It was the best gift you will ever give me. You arrived a little early, scaring us all quite a bit. For the first two weeks of your life I longed to take you home, but they wouldn’t let me. I had to visit you in the NICU with the sound of beeping monitors and other babies crying, but you were the most beautiful baby there. I vividly remember that Wednesday when they said I could take you home. I was elated. I called your daddy and then your grandma and grandpa sobbing. I got to take my baby girl home! Everything was right in the world again.
Being your mommy is such a joy. Sure, we have our fights and “moments,” but I love you with all of my heart. I love how when you really are hurt or sad or scared it’s me you want. I love reading you a book in the morning before we start our day. I love singing “Splish Splash I was taking a bath” in the tub each Saturday morning. I love how you absorb God’s word and are making godly friends. I love those moments when I see you being sweet and loving with your sister. Most of all, I love you. I love your bright eyes and smile, your imagination, and your zeal for life.
You are four now. The world is going to try to steal you way from me, one piece of your heart at a time. You are growing up. My prayer for you is that you will remain sweet, sensitive, and loving. Stay connected to your spiritual side. Come to know your Savior and the love he has for you.
I love you Natalie joy. Let’s have a great fourth year together.