I found myself going through the craziness of yesterday (birthdays are always crazy around here since I always try to pull off too much with way too little planning ahead) with a mushy heart, ready to tear up whenever I thought of Hazel and how much I love that girl. How gently she has tutored me in motherhood. How willingly she has forgiven my mistakes. It’s hard to be the oldest, the ginny pig, but she has born it all gracefully.
Sure we have our ups and downs, but she is just a spectacular person. I love who she is deep in her soul. I’m so happy that I get to be connected with that person forever. That I get to be her mom.
I remember when she was two. Boy, was she ever two. Hard headed, stubborn, able to pull a wing dinger of a tantrum at any given moment and brilliant at pushing ever single one of my buttons. I was exacerbated and worried and had all kind of questions since she was my first. Was I raising a mad woman? Had I done something wrong? Had I been given a particularly challenging kid? Was it really just a stage, as so many seasoned moms had told me it was? That was hard to believe, the dynamic we were caught in together seemed like it was just our forever life.
And then one particularly grueling terrible two (or maybe it was three by then) day one of my favorite friends who had spent a lot of time with Hazel told me that she loved Hazel so much, that she knew Hazel was going to be an amazing adult. She was convinced that all that Hazel was then (craziness and all) was going to be part of what was going to make her an amazing person. And something in the way she said it -- or maybe it was her total assurance that she was right about this -- made me see it too. That spark of who this little Hazel was deep down glimmered through all the murky terrible twoness. It was there, a gem of a person -- a wise, old, kind good soul.
And I’ve never lost sight of that spark since. Sure, we’ve still had lots of ups and downs, but ever since that day I have been certain that I am going to love who Hazel becomes. That she is going to be one of my favorite people on earth. That she will be an outstanding adult. And, that my job as she gets bigger is to let her be that person. And, to make sure that I have a good relationship with that amazing adult, because you better believe I’m going to want to be her friend.
Every day it seems she is growing into who she really is. And I am loving seeing her unfold.
Here’s a small list of some of the things love about Hazel right now:
- she is kind. Sure, she has her horrid moments like anyone, but mostly she is incredibly kind to her younger siblings and to everyone around her. She is always looking for ways to make them happy, especially Emmeline who has been especially trying lately.
- she is heavenly helpful. She is almost always willing (and able!) to do what I need in a pinch. I’m sure I rely on her way too much and at some point she is going to resent me for making her do so much work, but I really don’t know how I’d get by without her. She is my right hand girl. There’s really nothing that she can’t help me with, making dinner, putting Emmeline to bed, even changing Peter’s diaper sometimes. Wow.
- she is smart and hard working and knows how to get things done. she does her homework the second she gets home without help. She gets up and dressed and empties the dishwasher before I even get home from my early morning run.
- she wants to do what is right and when she doesn’t get things right she’s easy to apologize and try again. I find the sweetest notes from her on my pillow asking for forgiveness for bad behavior. I’m usually the one who needs to apologize.
- she is funny. when I made a dinner she loved the other day she put her arm around me and said to Jeff, “Take a picture with the best cook in the world!”
- she is a good friend. She’s kind of the ring leader at school and I know she’s leading those girls to do good, kind, happy things. That makes me so proud.
- she has a deep soul. she has such great questions lately about God and Christ and the gospel. She hungers for a strong testimony of her own. She has been reading the scriptures and fasting and doing all kinds of adult things to get ready for her baptism. She is taking it all very seriously, I know she feels genuinely compelled to come close to Heavenly Father. She is so full of light.
- I love her style. Can’t wait to post some pictures of her in her newish school wardrobe, the clothes combinations she puts together are all her own doing and I love her style. I should probably let her dress me.
- she is gracious and aware. some gracious polite fire was lit inside of Hazel while we were in England and she is now so talented at talking to adults, thanking people genuinely for things without any prompting and really making people feel good and loved. yesterday as I went through the day trying to pull of a happy birthday for her she kept noticing all that I was doing and thanking me so genuinely for doing it. there were a few things that didn’t meet up with her expectations (like I forgot to make her one of those candy posters that Charlie got for his birthday that she has been asking about all month) she graciously let it slide, “don’t worry mom, I know you’re working so hard.” She has thanked me copious times for spending money and time on her upcoming birthday party. And, you should hear how sweetly she talks to our neighbor Joyce. It melts my heart every time.
- she is going to be a fantastic mother one day. she is so good at navigating her younger siblings through things patiently, helping them in ways that would never occur to me. She really has a gift for that, we call it working her Hazel magic. She can pretty much pull Emmeline out of any mood or tantrum (and boy does she have some big ones!).
Basically, we got a really good one in Hazel and I thank my lucky stars (and my Heavenly Father) that she was sent to us first. Her tender, wise, forgiving, resilient soul was just what I needed to tutor me through motherhood.