And though she be but little,
she is fierce.
My baby girl turns six today. She is a beautiful, bright, clever, fun, outgoing, creative, and sweet little girl. But mostly, she is a force to be reckoned with. She is independent, confident, willful, and strong. So strong, that sometimes I think she willed herself into existence.
As I mentioned previously, my husband and I both are only children, and we took our time deciding to have a second child. We decided. The next day I was pregnant. It was as if my daughter had been waiting around somewhere for the two of us to get our act together and wasn't wasting any more time getting into the world.
A few weeks into my pregnancy, a routine bathroom trip proved to be not-so-routine. In fact it was alarming, and I rushed to the obstetrician's office. The urine test said I was not pregnant. Definitively. The doctor even asked if I had taken an at-home test and was certain I'd been pregnant. I had and I was. We made an appointment to return the next day for a blood test and ultrasound.
My husband and I spent the next twenty-four hours justifying the certain outcome. It was so early. Something obviously had been very wrong, so better that it ended now. It wasn't meant to be.
Except it was.
The blood test confirmed I was pregnant, and we saw the peanut's little heart beating on the ultrasound. She was fine. Even the obstetrician couldn't hide his shock and joy. She was meant to be.
She arrived on schedule and has been challenging us ever since. She spoke early and well, and the words we heard most often were "do it myself." She has never been a child that peters out. She goes full stop until she hits a wall, and then she hits it hard. Her emotions are rarely middle-of-the-road. She is gleeful and delightful most of the time; when she is not, she is distraught or enraged.
When I was at the end of my rope with a fiercely independent toddler, my husband reminded me that, while frustrating in a toddler, independence is a fine quality in an adult. One of my oldest friends, herself small but fierce, demanded that I do nothing to break my daughter's spirit. I'm not sure if I could, but I'd never try. It is who she is, and I agree it will serve her well in life.
On the way to school this morning, my daughter requested that I play one song over and over. She belted out the lyrics with gusto. I couldn't have chosen a more apt theme for her or this day than she did, Helen Reddy's 1971 "I Am Woman."
"If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman."
Yes. Six years old. Hear you roar, Peanut. Thanks for proving them wrong when you were still the size of a soybean. We are forever grateful you are here.