As we bring this busy month to a close, itâ€™s only fitting that I get to shutter the Spring and welcome the summer months with a tribute to my blossoming flower, Aria Leigh.
Today, our little princess leaps beyond her toddler years and forges a path into little girlhood as she turns 3 years old. Now, I know some posit that ages 2 and 3 mark those toddler years but itâ€™s probably a matter of personal choice. And as Aria, who has begun to display her own fierce personality, would attest â€“ sheâ€™s not a toddler, sheâ€™s a little girl. Or, beautiful princess might be more apt.
Beautiful indeed. Andi and I are blessed to have such a beautiful, inquisitive, caring, funny, thoughtful and playful little girl to compliment the joyous tidings her big brother brings forth in equal measure each and every day. The two of them complete us â€“ bringing joy and laughter to our homes and as a direct result â€“ bringing our hearts to the verge of bursting.
As many of you know, Aria Leigh was born on her exact due date â€“ May 31st 2005. When her brother was due two years prior, we had procured a good deal of our nursery furniture from Boston Baby. At the time, they were offering a deal where if your baby was born (naturally) on their due date, then you were fully reimbursed for your furniture purchase. As Colin was delivered on the day of a scheduled induction, we didnâ€™t get to reap the benefits of Boston Babyâ€™s own ‘Monster Deal’.
If only we had attempted to bottle lightning, we would have surely cashed in on Aria Leighâ€™s debut. That said, she is the second child born meaning she received that nursery furniture on loan from her big bro. Yup, the hand-me-downs had commenced.
Actually, Aria is fortunate to have been born a girl as she gets to test our combined fashion sense (and the limits of our checking account) and for the most part, avoid Hand-Me-Down hell. To Colinâ€™s credit, I think he did a championship job in staining most anything Aria could have fit into anyway â€“ thatâ€™s little big brothers for yaâ€™.
If Iâ€™ve learned anything in my relatively brief sojourn as parent, itâ€™s that your childâ€™s predominant personality really begins to take hold sometime around the transition from 2 to 3 â€“ at least, certainly when you are on the Back 9 of that age group. And true to form, itâ€™s not something you notice the moment it happens â€“ usually youâ€™ll look back a few months into this metamorphosis and realize â€“ â€œWow, sheâ€™s developed quite a little personality!!!â€
In Aria, weâ€™ve certainly seen her inner self spark over this past year and itâ€™s been a thrill discovering the similarities she shares with her brother as well as the unique shadings to her character that are all her own.
And sheâ€™ll let you know that this is her world, weâ€™re just living in it.
A short while back, I wrote a piece where I gave the play-by-play on a little battle royale that she and Colin engaged in one afternoon â€“ when Colin received the business end of Ariaâ€™s miniature Elmo lunch box. â€œBecause Colinâ€™s head hit my lunch boxâ€ was the reason she gave me for entering time out.
As I wrote then, sometimes parents must harness great strength in order to avoid laughing when we need to be stern. With Aria, thatâ€™s become an increasing trend as she begins to push at the boundaries of her world and realize just how boundless this world â€“ this life â€“ can be.
One of my favorite personality traits of late is Ariaâ€™s unique naming conventions for all manner of people, places and things. Sheâ€™s not fond of being corrected. So if she says a flower is purple (and you correct her and instruct that in fact, the flower is white), sheâ€™ll respond â€“ â€œI call it Purple.â€ If she says Abby is a Boy and you inform her that Abby is actually a female dog, sheâ€™ll respond â€œI call her a Boy.â€
And my personal favorite â€“ a tale relayed to me by Andi that nicely sums up Ariaâ€™s World. During a recent playgroup, Aria noticed that her playmate Mya was not present on that particular day â€“ but her brother Timmy was. So Aria decided to play with Timmy instead. When Andi dropped in to see how playtime was going, Aria replied â€œIâ€™m playing with Mya.â€ Andi corrected her and said â€œMyaâ€™s not here today. This is her brother Timmy.â€
â€œI call him Mya.â€
So, white is purple. Females are males. Timmy is Mya.
Itâ€™s Ariaâ€™s world people, weâ€™re just living in it. And, I for one, wouldnâ€™t want to be anywhere else but here.
Happy Birthday, Aria Leigh.