My little bird follows me around our home and outdoors as children do, however in doing this, she often adopts my pace and takes on small jobs that I need a hand with. This is wonderful in many respects, as seeing myself and her daddy working hard and always having a project on the go will surely mean that she will learn that you only get out of life, just what you put in… I hope…?
Although recently, I have been all too aware of new anxieties creeping in; I am reassured by friends and family I talk to that “it’s perfectly normal” and at this stage, that there is a huge amount of emotional development, as well as physical development going on in a three and a half year old. However, when I observed her the other day, going about the place, happily helping us out outside, I suddenly felt incredibly guilty.
Whilst I realise that she is happy to do these things with us, so often she just falls into helping mummy and daddy, without actually being asked what she would like to do. As an only child, she spends a lot of time with adults, with conversations going on and I often see this sweet, sweet child of mine, trying to keep up, or even attempting to ‘chip in’ with her own suggestions! So, this week, I decided to take her lead on what we got up to, to let this darling child of mine be little and do things that little people do, when she is at home, without any children to keep her company.
Early this week, when the sun shone and Spring began to creep in, we headed out into the woods and she asked to play in the stream and she began to clear out the chestnut leaves that had fallen in Autumn. We spent an hour just chatting, playing and clearing the stream to get the water flowing again, another school day passed, then home again and she asked to check the apple tree we had planted for her a few weekends ago. She spent ages examining each little bud, she carefully checked to see if any rabbits had been digging nearby or if there was any deer damage further up the tree.
By taking a step back, I have really begun to see who my little girl is, what it is she really enjoys and the person she is becoming. She is growing so much, questioning the world around her, taking everything in and caring for not just the people (and dogs!) around her, but also the environment she is so fortunate to grow up in.
I am so pleased that I listened to my maternal instinct and took a step back to let her take the lead; in just a few short days, I have seen her confidence grow and more importantly, she has been opening up much more about the anxieties she has been feeling, which has given us the opportunity to really talk things through.
So, after a wonderful week with my girl, and growing as a mother, I am going to end this post with something I once read which I think we can all learn from. I wish I could find the relevant person who wrote this, if you know, please do add in the comments below as credit is due for such a wonderful and inspiring quote.
Let them be little –
Childhood happens once.
Provide shelter for your children.
Protect your child’s innocence.
Make room for wonder.
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