Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ode to a Bean.

On impulse, I brought my camera into Bella's room when I got her up this morning. I have been thinking about this post in my head for a while, and wanted to show Bella's demeanor when she gets up in the morning. This is always what I come in to find when she wakes up- that perennial smile and excitement to see me. In fact, Bella wears that smile almost all the time. When she does wake up, she never cries. She is happy to talk to herself, imagine, sing songs, or do whatever it takes to entertain herself until I come and get her. I mean for 2+ hours if necessary. (By necessary, I mean that I slept in and was never awoken because she didn't cry. That, or me just buying time to myself since she is happy in there.) Whenever I eventually get her up, she is beaming and just excited to see me and happy to be up. She doesn't cry when I put her down and rarely resists nap/bedtime. Usually the only thing I will hear her calling for me is an amicable: "Mooo-omy, where ar-rrre you?"
Today I was talking to Shell on the phone and tried to tell Bella is was time for her nap and she had a rare baby Bella breakdown that is sad more than frustrating. She has them so rarely that I find I am strangely compassionate, patient, and concerned with her very real heartbreak over turning off 'Diego.' (or whatever the case may be.) While she cried I tried to calm her down rocking in her chair, with the requisite 2 binkies, her special blanket, and 2 books ready to go. It was very sad when I whispered that it was time to read stories, she quietly said, amidst gasping sobs, 'Go-this-way?' (pointing into the living room vicinity) 'okay.' She frequently asks and answers her own requests in what seems to be an effort of persuasion. If I talk to you calmly I can usually quell these little heartbreaks pretty quickly. I'm always desirous to do so because I have my own little heartbreak. I'm pleased that since she is not a crier I do not become angry or frustrated, but rather concerned and sympathetic when she has her sad moments. I know watching 'Diego' isn't a big deal in the scheme of things, and I could just tell her to suck it up and go to bed- but- it is a very big deal to her. That is her world, (not tv in and of itself, an aspect-) and when that world is rocked, she is upset. Children want to feel like they have as much control over their lives as anybody else does. They're just little people, not simpletons. I always try to see her vision, and the very real trauma and heartache she is feeling at the moment. Besides- how many of our heartbreaks or irritations really matter in the scheme of things? I mean, in the eternal perspective my yen for a dog does not trump Bella's yen for another show. It's all silly, but very real to us now.
This took a different direction than I envisioned, but the basic point is that I am in love with this little girl. I feel it more so every day as she begins to express her feelings, preferences, and thoughts more and more articulately. Each day gives me new insight into her personality, her character, and I love to see it develop. I definitely feel that I was blessed with this very special girl because of my own faults and weaknesses. I really believe the Lord knew what I needed after the disappointment of losing Lola, and the competency I may or may not have as I struggle to live with my depression and make it part of a daily functional, and progressive lifestyle. She is just a happy, sweet girl. She is 2 1/2 so of course she has her moments (sharing is not a strong suit with other children...) but overall, her demeanor is cheerful and happy. I try to remember that when I show her the respect she deserves as her own person, she is compliant, affectionate, and sweet most of the time. She's my daily companion, and since being out here, my only companion most of the time. I just love her, and how her unflagging smile and demonstrative affection for me inspires me to do more, be better, and hope for tomorrow. Sweet Bella Bean.

11 comments:

michelle said...

You really do have a sweet Bella bean. You are wise to treat her with respect. Grandma always says that children are just little adults, they have preferences and desires and spirits as old as our own! I always try to treat my children respectfully as well, but they are not always as compliant and happy as Bella! She is such a happy girl. I miss her.

Hannah said...

Oh I miss that Bella. She is seriously THE happiest toddler around. I haven't thought much on their yen for something vs. mine- that is food for thought indeed.

charlotte said...

I love Bella!! Oh I miss going over to your house and having her be excited to see me--I miss her!

Jill said...

What a blessing to have such a sweet and happy girl. Whitney was like that too and I always appreciated it and responded well to her because of it.

Claudissima said...

what a tender post...she is lovely

Diana said...

What a tribute to Bella. I feel blessed to have such good happy kids also. Heavenly Father for sure gives us the kids that will make us the happiest.

dpw said...

This is a great post, and one Bella will love to read when she gets older. She is indeed a joy. I used to look forward to getting my children up from their naps, their beaming faces reflecting unconditional love and adoration. Thanks for the reminder that kids do want to feel a measure of control in their own lives--and that those beaming little faces are still in there somewhere--even on a bad day.

Robin said...

Wow, what a cute picture of her. (: Bella sure is a cutie...it still cracks me up that she knew Mark's name before mine ;)

Beatrix Kiddo said...

Bella is truly a wonderful child. I love that little girl. I wish I could have enjoyed her more, but being sick made me sort of foggy. It wasn't till the last day that I truly felt better and more able to enjoy her. I still can't believe how amazing she is.

Alison said...

She's so cute... ahhhhhh, I love pictures of her.

Amie said...

This is so sweet. Happy kids are the best! Treating kids with respect... something I think I try to do but probably fail a lot... I really want them to be respectful, we probably talk more about that...

Thanks for the Ben and Jerry's comment on Jill's post, it had me cracking up!

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