You know it's strange, with this one, I kind of felt like she would stay three forever. Two flew by but there were weeks and months of her being three that I remember longing for her to turn another year older. Well, here we are...at 9:56pm on September 14 she came into this world with hardly two pushes. "Look out world, I'm HERE!" is what I felt like her newborn self declared. From that minute, our Reese Elisabeth-Morgan has been nothing short of fearless, feisty, fabulous and NOW, she's four!
Today for the most part, was pretty magical. I took the day off work to celebrate her birthday and we were so excited to spend a whole day together. Asa bought cupcakes for she and I to take to her preschool to celebrate snack time with her friends. We got there a little early so I was blessed to make it to some Chapel time. Reese sat on my lap and we listened to the story of Baby Moses and the kids recited Bible verses and the Lord's Prayer. It reminded me so much of my own Christian school elementary days, and I truly felt so blessed to be a small part of that part in their day. She sat with her friends at their table, everyone enjoyed seconds, and she colored some before we left to go back home. Once we were there, I surprised her by telling her I had made her a nail salon appointment; she has gotten her nails done once before with me and she absolutely LOVED it. My sweet friend Jess at Dollface Beauty and Brows booked me a slot with her co-worker Amy, who now runs the Glossry inside the shop; an adorable mani/pedi setup!
Beforehand, we got ourselves some hot chocolate and a hot caramel apple cider, thanks, Please and Thank you! And Reese was feeling all sorts of spoiled, as she should! I had so much fun chatting with her in the booth; we talked about what a great morning it had already been and what she wanted to do next (which was go look around different shops nearby).
At the salon, Reese sat perfectly still and picked out a shade of pink and a second bottle of all pink glitter. Amy was so sweet and patient, listening as Reese chatted her ear off. The other ladies who came in and out of the shop complimented Reese for her beautiful curls and for how good she was being.
And I think that's where I just want to mention that it's been a little hard for me to write this post tonight. Wait, what? Ashley, what are you doing? Okay hold on. Do any of you have a 3-year old? Or at one point HAD a 3-year old? No, Reese isn't three anymore; but technically all day today until 9:56pm she still was, right? The past year has just been really hard on me emotionally and mentally--not constantly, but her moods would come in waves, and sometimes Reese has been sweet as pie and others, she's cutting straight to your heart with words and statements you can't believe just left her mouth. Tonight for instance, after everything we did together and the money spent ON her, she looked at me and said, "I don't like you." Shortly after that, I told her that she couldn't open another birthday present in THAT moment, and she said, "You're mean."
Didn't I just spend literally ALL day with my daughter? Spoiling her and helping her feel beautiful and loved and celebrated? I know that you're not supposed to take the words of a toddler or ANY child to heart. But sometimes that's just not possible! It felt like a slap in the face. Like everything I had just done didn't matter. That maybe, just maybe, my daughter DIDN'T like me.
Anyway, I won't continue a giant sob fest here on the blog, and the truth is, I'm fine. The end of her fourth birthday didn't go as I had planned, there were way more tears than I ever want to remember (so why am I writing it down?!!?), and overall, my mom heart is kind of aching at the fact that my kids ARE getting bigger--they're getting older, they're turning MORE human, and I know with that, comes lots of hurtful words, calloused phrases, and tons of opportunities for growth and redemption on ALL our parts. But I also know that she DOES love me. There's really no one else that she prefers (she loves you too, dear husband, but we all know this has been the last several years!) She isn't trying to be purposefully hurtful, at least I don't think? And I know she too, is just learning what's right and wrong.
I promise we really did have a GREAT day, and the weather temperature wise was just right... before the coffee shop and nails, Reese let me take some portraits of her in a tree covered space near our house. We talked about the colorful leaves, looked at different bugs, and she made me laugh, a lot.
And we also explored some shops downtown Louisville this afternoon, admiring things we couldn't afford and sending me into panic at several moments at the thought of her dropping something expensive (ahem, everything we saw!) It was fun to hold hands and just giggle together, and I had some sentimental visions of our probable future together. My girl loves shopping, but I think more than anything else, she loves quality time.
Reese Elisabeth-Morgan, I do love you. And no matter what you say over the years, I promise to forever be your very best friend. You are brave, passionate, independent, and you have already in four short years, taught me SO much. While it hurts a bit to watch you and your big brother grow so quickly...please know that I will always be here. I'll always be your shoulder, your hug, your belly tickle, your lullabye, your prayer warrior, your friend, and your mom. Thank you for being you, I am so excited (and slightly terrified) to see where four leads you!