So just after her 2nd birthday we started a very independent stage. I’m both proud of her, hopeful I won’t always be single mom to a needy toddler, and trying to maintain this hopeful future mindset so that I don’t loose every last drop of patience.
Today, just to get to the grocery store she insisted on putting her shoes on by herself, waking to the car by herself, and buckling her top buckle herself. I refused to let her climb in the car by herself. Call it safety, call it boundary setting, call it end of my rope,
In the same heartbeat I feel overwhelmed that I’ll have to buckle her in her car seat forever, and impatient that she wants to do the top buckle slowly without help.
It’s so hard to be in the moment with these stages. It’s easy to want her to be little again and to be big enough to get in the car with help. But this isn’t either of these stages. This is the independent toddler stage. This is the stage where she develops confidence and learns to perseve. It’s so hard not to insist on helping her when you’ve waited five minutes for her to get her shoe buckled, and yet it’s so important for her to figure it out.
I know even if I never let her do her own shoes, by age 10 she’d be able to do it without question, but she’d have missed the stage where she feels proud of this major two year old accomplishment.
It’s not about the shoes. It’s about my baby learning confidence and determination and it’s about me learning patience.
I wonder if God does this with us. He could easily do somethings himself, but as we grow with him he allows circumstances that will make us stronger and teach us important lessons for later. It isn’t so much important that she can put on her own shoes now, it’s important that she learns perseverance and to keep trying and trying until she gets it done.
If I were guessing, I’d bet God is teaching me how much I still need to rest, grieve, and take care of myself. He could strike me sick and make me rest. He could make it super easy to rest. But I think he wants to show me that I still need rest. He wants to me see for myself how much I still need Him, still need friends and family, still need to proceed so cautiously, and still need to devote so much time to self-care and restoritive living.
It’s almost the opposite of an independent stage for me.
Toddler lesson- confidence building, determination and obedience.