There’s a classic game in which people are asked to describe themselves in just a few words. Maybe three or five – something small that cuts right to the quick of things and shows your dominant traits. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because the one word that Dad and I most often use to describe you is determined. It comes up almost every day.
Determined, as in when you learned to roll over you wanted to crawl and when you wanted to crawl you figured it out in about two days. Literally, one day you were doing hesitant knee shuffles, and the next you were racing across the room. Now that you can crawl you’re determined to walk, doing mind boggling pull ups on every stable and unstable object. You have even learned how to grab the dog’s harness and use it to stabilize yourself. Riley is not as thrilled as you are. And now that you can pull up, you let go and stand on your own two feet. Happy with your success, you clap until you fall.
Determined, as in every time we baby proof something, you take it as a challenge. You don’t want me to make the little hole in the carpet bigger? Muah ha ha ha… It’s done! You don’t want me to pull the cable wires off the wall? Too late! And, boy, that packing tape you used to secure things does taste delicious! Oh, Lily, it’s a constant game. You look at Dad and I and we can see in your eyes that you just won’t rest until you’ve done exactly what you set out to do.
Determined, as in you have studied all the other people swimming in our pool with their faces in the water, and you want to do it to, even though you have no clue exactly how to go about it. Determined, as in, no matter how much water you swallow by accident, darn it, you’re going to swim.
Lily, this is one of the best possible traits you can have, because you have both the desire for something and the motivation to pursue it. It’s funny because the second word we most often use to describe you is happy, and I think in a lot of ways your determination fuels your happiness. By pushing through the challenges and seeing your way to your goals, you achieve those goals and your own happiness. As a parent, it makes me so incredibly proud that you just. won’t. give. up.
I hope you always keep this streak, though I’m sure down the line it might lead to power struggles and teenage drama. What you are determined to do, and what we as your parents want to let you do might now always match up. But I’ll be forever supportive of the fact that you will forge your own way.
You’ve got me head over heels, little girl.
I love you,