Over the the last three years, I have discovered Aven is a wonderful, smart, sweet, beautiful little girl. I think in our case, it has taken a village to bring her to this point. So far, my husband and I have done the best we can to help her discover the world, discover her capabilities, and show her kindness, but the other people in her life have helped us help her.
Last night taught me a very good lesson. Aven has been on "super charged 3 year-old status" for about 2 weeks. First came Santa. This year was the first year she GETS IT. Then comes her birthday. In between, we had house guests that are wonderful and so fulfilling, but throw her off a schedule nonetheless. She also has not been in daycare for over a week and I know how much learning and stimulation she gets can satisfy her insatiable three year old thirst for knowledge. (I have been trying to recreate it, but I am not quite hitting the mark ;-) ).
Well...she didn't want to go to sleep. Duh. It is her first birthday she understands is all about her. After Andy and I let her chat up her stuffed animals for an hour, I went into her room to lay down next to her. Two hours of telling stories, me pretending to be asleep, me falling asleep, me coaxing her to fall asleep -- I had to get up and walk out of the room and let her fuss herself to sleep on her own.
I am her Mom. I want to do everything for her so she doesn't have to go through the tough stuff on her own. But alas, I cannot. She is only 3 and will need me for a very long time, but it is the beginning of Aven discovering her independence. Whether that be putting herself to bed after a very long week OR it be letting her realize the internet can be cruel and it is best to put your best face forward when talking to the WORLD WIDE WEB.
*Don't get me wrong...I will always be there to tell her she is doing something colossally stupid or equally great; but I pray she will find the best path on her own.
Ultimately, I think Tina Fey said it best...
*She can have tattoos, but nothing in a language she can't speak, no cartoons, and please I beg you Aven -- choose an artist, not "some guy who has a tattoo gun."