Reckless

I get asked the same questions about Sprout, on a general basis.

What do you do with her hair?

Is she always this energetic?

Don’t you worry about her?

The first two answers are pretty simple. Lots of conditioner in the tub, lots of detangler in the morning, and a bit of gel or mousse to set the curls. Yes, she is this energetic from the moment her feet hit the floor in the morning, to the moment she relaxes in bed and falls asleep.

But the last one… it is more complex to answer. Generally, I hear it when she has done something; when I casually mention to a group of Mom-friends that she spent the morning building pillow trampolines and leaping off my couch onto them, waiting until I left the room and claiming a jump was really a slip, when I posted pictures of her first horse riding lesson, when I tell a friend I caught her standing on top of a pile of books placed on my patio chair to pick leaves off a tree for her dinosaurs to eat.

My flip response is no, of course I do not worry. I am just blasé about her leaping from couch to couch and running towards the street and trying to take apart her night light while it was still plugged in.

But my serious response… She is living her life Big.

Sprout is living her life just as I hoped she would. In an eat all the food, ride all the rides, read all the books, do all the things, no looking back, no taking prisoners, get out of my way I have stuff to do kind of way. When I was carrying her, when she would flip and tumble and squirm, I hoped for a little girl who was not afraid.

She is afraid, of spiders and bugs. And the dark.

She is not afraid of getting dirty, of horseback rides and rain puddles. She loves rollercoasters (found that one out yesterday), loves to play soccer with her daddy, build forts out of every blanket we own and play war in them. She loves science, and will spent a day enthusiastically mixing vinegar and baking soda, sticking magnets to everything, making rainbows on paper with prisms, looking at every rock, blade of grass, or flower with a magnifying glass. She is not afraid to help Hubs fix something with the car, to mix batter in a bowl, to have a pillow fight, to color on the walls, to draw on my sidewalk.

She is just out there, in the world, living life. I find myself propping Pudge on my hip, and following her, answering the questions she asks. She never stops asking questions. I have explained the life cycle of butterflies, how a fire engine’s siren works, why we have to stop at red lights, what batteries do, and where babies come from. I answered those questions within an hour, every question looped into another, her brain processing information and then making a leap into a new subject. And I pray that she will slow down, that she will pause, that I can catch my breath. I imagine Pudge prays to take a nap and relax.

Yes, I do worry. Every time I hear the thud of her body hitting the carpet, I brace myself for the ER trip. I buy so many BandAids I should stock in them, to fix the skinned knees, elbows, and various other ouchies that come from living life at 90 miles an hour. I dream of a day where I can relax and snuggle with her, when she is not falling asleep on my shoulder but just wants to relax and cuddle. When she sat still and meditated for 3 minutes, I was astonished beyond words; in response to sitting still, she proceeded to unload the contents of my linen closet, in a quest to build a bigger fort.

I worry all the time.

But I will not change her. I will not tell her to slow down (much), although I will cry the day she remembers to stop running in the house. I will not curb the wild soul that just wants to live and explore and play and learn and read every book and every sign, and ask every question. And eat every piece of cheese every made.

You call it reckless.

I call it Living Big. And Sprout can do it as long as she wants.

~Jennifer

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