Dear Olivia,

Oh my sweet eldest daughter, how we have struggled lately. You are volatile, and explosive, and sweet, and kind. I am trying to learn how to teach you that it's okay if you're not the best. It's okay if you make a mistake. It's okay if the squiggly line on your Q goes slightly up instead of perfectly straight down. It's okay if the dot on your i, is slightly larger, or smaller than you were anticipating. It's even okay if you make the line too long and it looks a d instead of an a. Those are little things, my dear. They do not require the catastrophic meltdown that so frequently accompanies such events.
     I know you love to be the fastest, and the smartest, and the best. But sometimes you will lose. And the world will keep turning. Sometimes, even when you run your very fastest, someone else will be faster. But guess what? You are still amazing. You still did your best. I struggle every day trying to figure out how to best teach you that all you need to do is your best, not be the the best. My heart breaks a little as I try to teach you that these are not always the same.
    The other day we went to story time, and the activity after the story was to make a train. Most kids quickly colored their paper so they could hurry and go play with the trains. But not you, Olivia. Oh no, not you. You sat in that chair for 45 minutes, carefully, meticulously, coloring that train. You placed each circle sticker in just the right spot. Picking them up, and replacing them when at second glance didn't meet your expectations. Some kids were already done with their picture AND playing with trains, and you were still messing around with those stickers. I tried to tell you it was good enough, and let's go play, but you didn't even seem to hear me. I love that you have the attention span long enough to sit and do things like that. I love that you want to be so good. I just hope that you know, that it's okay if everything's not perfect. I am drilling this into your head every day, even making you repeat it back to me, but I am not sure the message is sinking in.
        You are also a natural leader. Yesterday you were playing outside with your "friends" and you were leading them in a game of good vs. evil. These kids were 9 years old, and they were listening to you, and following you around. It gave me a good laugh. Especially when you declared yourself the Queen of Darkness, and said you were going to destroy the entire planet. With the help of your evil father. Seriously, you watch too much super hero television. But still, every where we go people tell me how friendly and outgoing you are. I love that about you.
      I love your desire to do your best. I just hope we can learn to control it a bit more over the years. I hope with experience of losing once in a while you will learn that it's okay. Humility is a hard thing to learn, and I guess I shouldn't expect you to learn it at the age 4.
       I'm sorry, Livie-loo-love, if I've ever done anything to make you think that the world ends if you are not the best. I want you to be happy. I want you to know that our Savior came to this Earth and died for you, so you would not have to be perfect in this life. No matter how hard we try, we will never be perfect. But He was. And that's enough. I hope you learn that, baby girl. I hope I teach you that. Because that's really all that matters. Knowing who Christ was, and that He was perfect, and the only way we will ever be perfect is through Him. 
     I love you. Oh how I love you! You are precious, and you are good, and we'll figure this life out together. Thanks for being guinea pig with this whole parenthood thing.

1 comment:

Lisa Eggs said...

I love that last line, so true of the eldest!