As we bring this busy month to a close, it’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 it’s probably a matter of personal choice. And as Aria, who has begun to display her own fierce personality, would attest – she’s not a toddler, she’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 – bringing joy and laughter to our homes and as a direct result – bringing our hearts to the verge of bursting.
As many of you know, Aria Leigh was born on her exact due date – 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 didn’t get to reap the benefits of Boston Baby’s own ‘Monster Deal’.
If only we had attempted to bottle lightning, we would have surely cashed in on Aria Leigh’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 Colin’s credit, I think he did a championship job in staining most anything Aria could have fit into anyway – that’s little big brothers for ya’.
If I’ve learned anything in my relatively brief sojourn as parent, it’s that your child’s predominant personality really begins to take hold sometime around the transition from 2 to 3 – at least, certainly when you are on the Back 9 of that age group. And true to form, it’s not something you notice the moment it happens – usually you’ll look back a few months into this metamorphosis and realize – “Wow, she’s developed quite a little personality!!!”
In Aria, we’ve certainly seen her inner self spark over this past year and it’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 she’ll let you know that this is her world, we’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 – when Colin received the business end of Aria’s miniature Elmo lunch box. “Because Colin’s head hit my lunch box” 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, that’s become an increasing trend as she begins to push at the boundaries of her world and realize just how boundless this world – this life – can be.
One of my favorite personality traits of late is Aria’s unique naming conventions for all manner of people, places and things. She’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), she’ll respond – “I call it Purple.” If she says Abby is a Boy and you inform her that Abby is actually a female dog, she’ll respond “I call her a Boy.”
And my personal favorite – a tale relayed to me by Andi that nicely sums up Aria’s World. During a recent playgroup, Aria noticed that her playmate Mya was not present on that particular day – 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 “I’m playing with Mya.” Andi corrected her and said “Mya’s not here today. This is her brother Timmy.”
“I call him Mya.”
So, white is purple. Females are males. Timmy is Mya.
It’s Aria’s world people, we’re just living in it. And, I for one, wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here.
Happy Birthday, Aria Leigh.