May 21, 2012

A Southern Summer.

This picture of Tessa and me from Saturday: It sums up exactly where we are. I want to eat her, inhale her. And she? She's already thinking of what path she can scamper down next, of the green balloon just beyond her reach.

I am settling into the idea of this being her new phase. It's painful, as I wrote, when she says mean things to me, but I'm gathering from other moms that this is pretty par for the course, and I have to remember that she doesn't know what she's saying and maybe just maybe she's already rebelling against the idea of a new baby. I started digging into a good book, Parenting with Love and Logic, that's giving me some techniques for responding to her when she's mean or mad or just plain ridiculous. And when she's not being any of those things, it teaches me how to uplift her and build her confidence and give her choices so that she feels more in control of her life. 

I just never know what I'm going to get with her, and I have to savor the sweet moments. Exhibit A: On Friday night, we were all watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and she melted into the space between the couch cushions and me and laid her head on my chest. "Daddy?" she said, "I've got Mama. She makes me happy."

Swoooooooon times infinity. 

Saturday we took Tessa to a fundraiser called Springaroo for five people who have cancer in my small hometown, Kingston Springs—one of them a close family friend. There was bluegrass music, and hickory smoked everything, and, at the edge of the property, a shallow creek that flows into the Harpeth River, clear and cold as can be. Tessa ate it all up with a spoon. And it reminded me that, even though we live in an urban area, I need to find ways to get us all out in nature more often. I'm on the look-out for an amazing swimming hole to splash around in this summer. I think Tessa needs some more country in her life. (And not just in the form of the country radio I play in the car when Nekos isn't around to make fun of me.)

between Nekos and my mom
with friend Susan
hot dog time! 
My mom, friend Shelley, Tessa and me
We're getting over her fear of water, one little body of water at a time