Watch out world- Juliana is 4

Dear Jules,

Today you are 4 years old. You are not a baby and everyday you remind me that. You can’t get smaller and go back in my belly. You don’t need me as much as you used to. You don’t fit in my arms like you used to. And you’re attitude, well, you’re 4 going on 16. You know what you want when you want it. You are strong willed with a BIG personality. Watch out world.

You are sweet and passionate and you love everything you do, but you are my hard child. You are tough and I’m scared. I’m scared for the figure. I’m scared of our arguments and I’m scared because I’m not strong willed. You are aggressive and a leader. I’m passive and I’m a pushover.

When you have a cut, you refuse to go swimming- that happened this morning. It was your last day of swimming and you were about to graduate with your certificate and on to level 2 of swim. You had a blister on your heel and you refused to go in the water, no matter hard I bribed you. I cried and yelled at you because I wanted you to finish the class and get your certificate. It was your last day and you did so amazing the whole time- and on the last day you refused. I was expecting the happy Jules I got all this week and we were spending the day together for your birthday. If you don’t want something, you won’t do it. You like to break rules and test your limits. You want endless cake pops from Starbucks and you want what you want when you want it. I suppose that aligns with what toddlers do, but I struggle with discipline. I want the best for you and I’m trying to let go of my own expectations. You don’t have to be a dancer even though I wanted to be one when I was little. You don’t have to love princess things even though I want you to because I wanna play princess things with you. You don’t have to like cars because daddy does. You don’t have to finish the swimming class if your blister stings to the point of you crying hysterically while mommy cries and gets mad at you saying you can’t spend the day with me if you don’t finish (this happened today and I was mean). You taught me how to calm down, take a deep breath, and reassess the situation. You taught me how to forgive without being stubborn.

You don’t need me as much anymore and as much as I should be happy you’re gaining independence, I miss you. I miss us. I miss rocking you to sleep. I miss your innocent tantrums. Now they have a passion and a reason. I miss when I didn’t have to divide my time between you and Hudson. I miss your raspberry kisses and your songs about me. I miss you so much because I know time is slipping away. I miss you when you’re with me.

Babygirl, I pray you take this fierce personality with you through this chaotic and somewhat scary life. I pray you aren’t a pushover or a follower. I pray you find balance in being bold and courteous. I pray you take this big personality and love with all your heart. I pray you never feel the hurt that is unbearable. I want to protect you forever and ever and knowing I can’t wrecks my heart.

You are my first born. You are my warrior princess, my twin, my sidekick. I don’t want you to be like me or daddy- I want you to be like Juliana. Stay true to yourself. I know you internalize everything around you- peoples’ feelings, especially mine. You get anxious very easily and I always know because you will bite your nails ravenously. You get overwhelmed around a lot of people and sugar makes you crazy. You love carbs- bread, cheese and pasta. You hate veggies and you won’t do anything you don’t want to do- i.e eat your veggies! You usually laugh at any bribe or “made up story” I tell to get you to dance, swim or eat those veggies. You worry about everything, especially Hudson.

My little empath, my best friend, my everything. You are a rock and I’m not sure where that personality came from (although I have an idea), but I know you got this. You are a big girl- and it hurts me to say that. You are not longer my toddler or my baby. You are a big girl and want to be called that. I whisper to you every night when I “ssage” (aka massage) your back- can you love me forever? Can you love me always? Because forever and always your mommy I’ll be. I also whisper that I love you and I miss you and now you hug me and kiss me every night and say the same thing. You take care of me. When I cry, you are there holding my face telling me to breathe. You don’t like when people yell because you start yelling and get all red in the face. You like to be prepped before something new. You love your brother but you hate sharing your time. You don’t like sharing, but you are trying. You hate to get water in your eyes. You love your friends and daycare- I’ll be a mess when you leave this year. Daddy is your hero, but mommy is your safe space. You love to cuddle at night and you only take naps at daycare. You are sweet and gentle and you love playing with your babies by yourself. You love dancing and making people laugh.

Your heart is ginormous. Sometimes it seems to big for your little body. You want to be a baby doctor and a fire girl when you grow up. Some days you want to be poop. I’m sure that will change every year. And while this is so hard for me to write and process that you are 4 (I already scrolled through 9,000 pictures and made 2 videos just tonight), I’m also excited to see all the amazing things you’ll do in this life. You are a strong willed and fierce big girl with lots to offer and oh my goodness I’m not sure the world is ready.

You have taught me patience, how to let go of not having to know everything, how to let go of expectations, and how to love unconditionally. You’ve also taught me to function on 4-5 hours of sleep, although now you sleep wonderful… it’s just getting you to settle down before bed. Your poor body doesn’t want to stop but your mind does.

You are literally going to move mountains, especially if it’s in the way (insert laughing emoji here). Daddy and I love you a million skies. Don’t ever change that heart of yours. Always my baby girl. Thanks for making my dreams come true. I dreamt of you forever.

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