Dear Charlotte,

Momma and Char

We’ve had a rough couple months haven’t we? We’ve gone toe to toe over getting dressed, the 5 pacifiers you carry around with you, coming when you’re called…. It’s gotten a little too routine to go to war with you over stuff that doesn’t really matter much in the long run. I’ve been impatient, frustrated when you make us late because you have to buckle your seat belt without any help from me. You won’t let me touch a thing you’re working on, if I do, you start over, and that’s hard. I’m sorry Sis…I should give you more grace. I know you like to do it on your own, it’s my fault I didn’t create the margin in our morning for you to figure it out.

Sweet Charlotte, I didn’t know how complicated it would feel having a daughter. I had no idea how much I would want you to need me, and to want me. You’re so little Sis, not even three, but most days I feel like you would get along just fine without me as long as you had Brother around to play with. You put on your clothes, you buckle that tiny gold buckle on your shoes, and you brush your own teeth. If there’s food you can’t reach, you drag a chair over so you can.

Lately, I’ve felt like a first time parent. You attack life so differently than your older brother and sometimes I get tired of choosing our battles. Most of the teachers are used to seeing me drag you out of a building kicking and screaming. You’re wearing a princess dress or a dance leotard and you’re  furious you can’t walk in the parking lot without holding my hand. But it’s my job to keep you safe, and give you boundaries. You hate it…but you need it Sis, I promise, you need it. People say I was like you at this age….yet you intimidate me with your spunk, I have yet to see you face an obstacle you couldn’t bulldoze your way through. You’re not afraid of much, and there’s nothing you won’t try.

“I want to DO it!” is a worn out phrase in our house. I’m proud to see you conquer things I wasn’t expecting you to figure out for another year….but sometimes I’m only pretending to be excited.

“Good job, BIG girl!” I cheer… mentally crossing off another thing you used to need my help for.

You’re sassy. That’s one thing we really do share, and when I think of myself at 13 and the things I said to my own mom, I cringe.  Then I come down on you… hard, afraid you’ll turn into me. When you pull my hair at family photos on purpose, I react. I worry someday you’ll want to pull away, to put lots of distance between us, like I did once.  It’s not fair put my fears on you.

outtakes (4)

outtakes (5)

Recently, I’ve been so focused on your stubborn streak. I got too concerned about what it might mean for you in the future, and hung up on how inadequate it made me feel in the moment. I lost sight of the softer side of you. You become protective if you see me upset. You come for snuggles, every morning. Tiny you, shouting your Big Goodbye to Shepherd over a room full of students at drop off. You’re so capable, but you are also precious and loving Sis.

A few nights ago, I was singing your bed time song,… ”Hey Charlotte, heeeey Charlotte, hey Charlotte, Charlotte Rose….” And you were singing it with me.

 Except you changed the word Charlotte to Momma in every verse.

And I knew that you adore me as much as I adore you. Sister, you are so special. You amaze and overwhelm me and I’m still trying to figure you all out. I promise I’ll never stop trying. I think you hung the moon Char. I can’t believe you’re mine, that I get to be the one guiding you into the woman you’ll become. It’s going to be an exciting trip Sis, I’m so happy to be taking it with you.

All my love,
Your Momma

Char fall 2015

Photos by Chelsea Alghrim Photography (The Outtakes)



One thought on “Dear Charlotte,

  1. Allie, always love reading your latest post! Just got my girls down for naps, and it’s been a rough morning. Your post made me cry because I can relate to the balance of loving them fiercely and also being beyond frustrated! It’s not easy being a momma. Thanks for always keeping it real while giving other moms encouragement!

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