DJ was born 10 years ago today. If you had met DJ as an infant, you would hardly believe she is the laid back kid she is today. This is one of the few pictures of her not crying or screaming. She did that for months. Like any first time parents, we wondered what and the hell we were doing wrong. We finally decided that DJ was just her own kid. All of the books and everyone tells you that babies sleep on their back – they’ll get used to it. Not this child. This child was a belly sleeper. No telling her anything different. When she started rolling at about 3 months old, she was happier. When she learned to crawl a couple months later, she was even happier. And when she pulled herself up the first time at 7 months, she was excited. And the talking – the talking started early too. Mobility and communication were the two things that transformed the screaming frustrated baby into a happy and content one. At a year, we didn’t recognize her.
And that is the thing about DJ. She is still curious. She is still an explorer. She is still a kid who has to think out loud. And she is also one of these kids who makes you proud to be her parent. She has the world’s biggest heart. If she sees a kid alone without friends at recess, she will go and ask them to join the group she’s playing with. And the group accepts that kid like they are one of their own. She hates seeing kids alone or unhappy. Her group of friends is always growing. Her teachers are always blown away by her kindness – her consideration for her classmates and their learning. It’s really hard to imagine sometimes that that little infant – the one we brought home screaming, who refused to eat, and who refused to sleep – is this kid.
As we start the double digits, I can only hope she stays this way and only improves. I don’t look forward to the teenage years – I don’t want the screaming to come back. I don’t want to be unable to reach her like I was unable to do 10 years ago. I can only hope her heart stays kind. I can only continue to listen when she talks. I can only continue to foster her curiosity and her independence. And I can only hope that next year, like every year since she was born, continues to be “the best age yet.”
Happy Birthday, DJ