Friday, September 18, 2015

The Little Encourager

I feel like I should know my kids better than anyone, and yet, they continue to surprise me.  Sometimes it's in a oh-no-you-did-not-just-say-that or a how-can-these-two-bug-each other-so-much kind of way.  Other times, I look at their positive interactions and my whole body relaxes while my heart stretches and grows.  

You never know exactly how your child will respond to a new situation that they are put in.  My Nya Bear has surprised me the most.  She was our "baby"--the youngest.  She was used to getting a whole lot of attention and non-stop cuddles, and then came a child who required a lot of that attention and a lot of those cuddles. 

She loves our Little One.  She calls herself the "Little Mommy" and takes her role seriously.  She introduces herself to people like this: "I'm Nya! I'm the Little Mommy.  I help take care of _______." I wish I could share photos of the two of them together--they mirror each other's activities throughout the day.  They eat breakfast facing each other, sit side-by-side on the bench watching Paw Patrol with their snacks in hand, take turns going 1-2-3 weeeeeee down the slide, and love racing back and forth down the hallway with a Ready, Set, Go!

Nya loves using our Little One's nickname whenever she sees this child--she says it in a goofy and inviting way.  She has helped us work on the skills that we are trying to teach and has made up a few of her own techniques which make me laugh.  There are times when our Little One needs a bit of space and will push Nya away gently, she gets it, she redirects the contact to a high-five and moves on. 

This girl is an encourager. Wow. When our Little One tries one of the skills that we are demonstrating (over and over and over), Nya claps and cheers. She knows this child's loves and often invites her little buddy into activities that she may not love, but she knows our Little One does.

It's not perfect--Nya has definitely had her share of saying "no" to us and I have to wonder how much is due to being three and what part of it comes from this adjustment.  She has mimicked some of the less enjoyable behaviours that she's witnessed.  She has to attend meetings with me at least three times a week and we drive a lot to do so.  I make sure to have special time for just the two of us which we both enjoy (and indulge in more sugar than we should.)  She loves her buddy.  Loves.  She has been very helpful in connecting birth mom and I with her sweet smiles and warm hugs; it allows mom and I to see that we are both moms, who at the foundation of it all, love our sweet kids.

I am so thankful for this pleasant surprise.  Thankful for my "Little Mommy"--the Encourager.


Have your kids pleasantly surprised you?  How so?