As Free as My Four Year Old | Vista Lifestyle Photographer

Just as my husband and I put work daily into staying connected to each others’ hearts, lately I’m ever reminded of the importance of intentionally pursuing these kiddos’ hearts as well. I have so much to learn, and daily have some sort of struggle separating the importance of staying in relationship with just trying to make it through the day. Some days are just a battle! Every day I wake up and have to get to choose joy.

 

Boy, it’s exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I love their innocence and passion. Their ability to go from being crazy and over-the-top mad, to genuinely happy without a trace of guilt as they continue their day. A short term memory of failures, and long term memory of their successes, as one special person would say. These children haven’t learned a lot of the harmful patterns of how we think of ourselves, others, or have any walls when it comes to love. I’m blown away by how each of mine have the uncanny ability to teach me things I thought I learned years ago. Then again, with their sweet simplicity, how they draw attention to the things I didn’t even know I needed. Or are these just maybe the things I forgot, as I grew older?

 

“Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated.” – Karen Maezen Miller

Girl Smiling in Mud

Today, I write this letter for my middle child. Since I’m horrible at baby books, these photos (and some handwritten letters) are how I document her milestones and the ripples from the impact of her addition to our family.

 

 

Her name came in a dream, along with a few other details that make a lot of (hilarious) sense ever since she joined our family four years ago.

Kadence: Latin, Kadenza- with rhythm.

Jubilee: Hebrew, A time every fifty years in biblical times where debts owed were erased, and freedom was celebrated.

 

Have you seen this Mythbuster’s episode, where several metronomes ticking to different beats are set on a platform, and are able to completely synchronize in rhythm, making one resounding sound? This is how I see my Kadence. Her freedom to live and love is so incredibly influential that she can pull people into her rhythm and teach them to see how she sees. That’s her rhythm, that’s the freedom. She’s my fireball, and though it brings its challenges to us as parents (I fear it’s genetic), I know it will propel her to great things in life.

 

To see the world differently AND have great influence with people is a gift.

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(P.S. CHUBS)

And now, in a blink, she’s four, and quickly transforming into a little lady. Her legs have grown tall and the baby chubs have quickly disappeared. And she’s convinced that dress still fits… She loves princesses, Frozen, and also climbing ropes, and digging up earthworms. She can stand her ground with her big brother. She tells stories forged from her brilliant imagination, and if I let her, she’d hand-craft a gift to everyone she’s ever met, because she loves to give. When you paint her face like a butterfly, she becomes a butterfly (with her own heavy dose of dramatic flare).

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And if I can be open and honest, there’s a story I’m compelled to share, but it’s very raw and vulnerable.

Several months ago, my kids’ love for me rocked my world as a mom.  Just days after an early miscarriage the waves of reality and hormones pummeled me right before the kids’ bedtime. Kadence was in her bed shouting and kicking the wall to get my attention, and I lost the illusion of control I’d been grasping onto. I shouted, told her to go to sleep, and began to cry there in her room. I knew that she had received an undeserved piece of the storm churning within me.

Without missing a beat, without knowing what was going on inside my heart, she did not roll over and go to bed. Instead, she cried with me and reached her stretching arms out to embrace me. Right there in the midst of my outburst. I squeezed that girl with all my might and was overwhelmed by the fierce love she has for me, that didn’t fear me in the midst of my “stuff.” I told her to never, ever stop reaching out for a hug from me no matter what and I prayed that I would learn to love like that again.

 

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Without fear, like a child.

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