raising little bear

It’s been about a billion years since I last gave you an update on my mini-me, a.k.a. Lucy, a.k.a. Little Bear. She’s grown so much and developed so much personality that I fear we’ll be sending her off to either Harvard or clown school next fall.

As she approaches the big 0-2 I’m more amazed than ever that a) we haven’t irreversibly screwed her up yet, b) all of her digits seem to be intact, and c) how much more I love her every single day.

You hear the parenting cliche all the time, but it’s true: there is no love like the love you have for your children, and it only gets bigger and more unimaginable day by day.

Of course there are days when you’d rather jump out the window than hear a Caspar Babypants song one more time. And there are times when you must accept that they have inherited your more charming qualities (or those of your husband…see above).

But when then they emerge from underneath the Christmas tree with a shit-eating grin and proclaim, “Mommy give Lucy tacos for Christmas!” all is quickly forgiven. Especially since all she asked for was tacos. And a Chapstick.

She’s so independent, so stubborn (like me), so curious (like her dad), so fierce, and so funny. She knows how to crack a joke, command the attention of a room, get exactly what she wants by outsmarting her opponent (me), bribe, bargain, and push every button in the book.

But she is also incredibly kind and sensitive. Every stuffed animal must be kissed and tucked in at bedtime. She shares toys with her friends (most of the time). She adores me (unless I’m walking her past Trophy Cupcake, instead of inside). She needs her dad like she needs oxygen. She has buckets of love for her grandparents (in the pic above she’s “helping” Papa put together a storage system for her room).

A friend asked us the other day what we think she’ll be when she grows up. Dave and I were a bit puzzled—we hadn’t really thought about it.

I answered, “anything she wants to be.” And that’s the truth. I know that wherever her life takes her she will be successful. Whatever she chooses to do, she will do it because it makes her happy. And when she’s not happy I’ll stand by her and hold her hand until she is.

And whoever she turns out to be—gay or straight, democrat or republican, astrophysicist or barista—I will be so incredibly proud of my little girl. And I will continue to love her more every single day, not just for who she is but for all of the joy and love and laughter that she brings to my life.

As she continues to grow and change she’ll only burn brighter, bringing that joy and love and laughter to other lives as she breezes through this world with that contagious grin. And I hope that every Christmas, no matter what else is on her list, she will always ask me for tacos.