Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rosemary Turns Three

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

I was lying in Blanche's bed last night as Rosemary peeked her head around and asked me that question. I laughed and smiled. She often surprises me with her smart little phrases, either heard by Blanche or put together more easily because of her. Blanche has always been my milestone of motherhood. She represents how long I have been nursing, co-sleeping, waking in the nights with someone. Rosemary is the middle child, she grows fast and slow. I can't believe she was only 19 months when I brought Foster home, and now she is only three? I keep thinking I will start homeschool with Blanche and then only a few months later Rosemary will follow. But in fact, there are three more years left for Rosemary to start school. Andrew and I will look at her, however mature we've made her in our minds, and now often see this little girl, with longer hair and stretching limbs, and think, "where did the baby go?"

If there was a phrase I could use to describe the third year of life, it would be "growing pains." Three year olds are not babies, not even close. They are almost out of toddlerhood, and soon to be a preschooler. Rosemary can do almost everything Blanche can do at five, but just not as good. I'm sure that's frustrating. Rosemary rides her bike at the park, but not quite as fast as Blanche. She can get dressed on her own, but is sometimes too tired to attempt it. I am trying to be aware of this, and to praise Rosemary for her drawings and attempts at writing letters, because two years ago when Blanche did these things we would go on and on about her brilliance. It's hard being the middle child, but I want Rosemary to be celebrated for her growth just the same.

The longer I am a mother and can study my children each day, I see how different they are from each other and that they are truly people with their own personality. Rosemary is a bit more quiet and introverted than Blanche (most are).  She loves to dress up and change clothes. Lately her go to food is banana bread. She'd prefer for there to always be a fresh loaf around the kitchen. She is very verbal and always has been. I cannot believe how well she can explain herself at times.

Often times I love to tell her about when she was a baby and I wore her in the sling. That soft, linen baby blue sling. She was happiest as a baby just snug on my hip or back, wrapped up like a little gift. Three years ago this January I gave birth to my most laid back baby, an observer from the start. I'm excited to watch her grow and learn, to see who she chooses to grow into. Just today at the table she drew a circle and two lines in a very close attempt at the letter "R" for Rosemary.  She has started making sure to kiss me on the lips and seems to want my attention more. Three is an awaking of a little soul, from baby to child. It reminds me that life could never be all highs, that the sweetness of life and growth takes work and sometimes tears. I love you Rosemary Joyce Nycum. I am so happy you are three.

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