For the past three nights, Addie and I have piled in my bed to watch old Disney cartoons with a tray of milk and cookies set out in front of us. Last night she only ate half a cookie because she deemed them “TOO BIG!” so I finished off mine and the other half of hers as well.

I am on vacation after all.

Once her teeth were brushed and prayers were said, I tucked her in with a kiss and and a squeeze. Before I had even finished brushing my own teeth I could hear her little snores from the other side of the room.

This child of mine, I am so in love with every inch of her. Her inability to mask any emotion, her perfect curls, her sprinkle of freckles and the wonder that is so very much alive in her.

THE FACE ON THE LEFT. That is all. #DisneyMagic

Yesterday was another one of those days that will go down as one of the best in our entire lives. I witnessed her branch out and try new and scary things, like swim in the open ocean and dance alone in a giant crowd of people. There have been times when she has wanted to be alone, and I let her. But she always comes back, slides her little hand in mine and says “I love you mama.”

Andrea and Addie have adopted each other as sisters. #DisneyMagic @azimm1200 @azimm

I once heard that “Life should be a series of daring adventures launched from a secure base.” When I see her break away from me and try something new, I realize that my time as her most favorite person is limited. I take comfort knowing she has the confidence to be out on her own, but chooses to come back with me when she needs to feel safe and secure.

As I learn more and more about the person she is becoming, I am learning to let her lead more often. That our relationship is less about me making little decisions for her, but rather me supporting the everyday choices she makes for herself. Only once have I forced her into something, and that something was the Caribbean Sea to pet a stingray, the experience ended with a chokehold of terror around my throat, but I don’t regret pushing her one little bit.

In the last three days she has hunted for fairies, dressed up as a pirate, waved at princesses, marched with toy soldiers, hugged Santa, swam with stingrays, saw fireworks, met an alien, won a gameshow, danced under the stars, and for a few moments forgot that reality even existed, completely immersed in magic.

Addie and I won a pirate game show last night! #DisneyMagic

It’s easy to forget there’s snowstorms and cold weather when you’re swimming in 82 degree water under a 90 degree sun with one of your most treasured people in the world. My heart and brain are stronger than they have ever been recently, and these past few days of enchantment have shored them up and strengthened them forever, for this there will never be enough words of gratitude.

Comments

  1. “My heart and brain are stronger than they have ever been..” So glad!

  2. So happy for you two! It sounds like a dream come true for you both, and I hope I get to do the same thing if I ever have a little girl.

  3. Oh it sounds like a blast! I am wishing for a week of wonderful for my little lady and me one day. Keep having fun!

  4. This is amazing – truly a time you’ll remember forever! Thanks for sharing with us all :)

  5. What a lovely post. Glad you’re having a wonderful time with your girlie : )

  6. So stinkin’ precious. That’s what this is. PRECIOUS. And, she’ll get to relive it over & over with your words & pictures on this here internet journal. Love you. xoxo

  7. Got me a little choked up it’s so sweet and wonderful!

  8. Enjoy the moment. I love it when the day is over and i am sitting with my son “he is 4″ and he looks up and say “do you know that you are my best friend” it is a perfect end to a day, they do grow up so fast.

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  10. “Life should be a series of daring adventures launched from a secure base.”

    I’ve always liked that line too. But your post reminds me that I shouldn’t try to make everything about the secure base, and ignoring the adventures. She’s only two, so I can’t have screwed it up too bad yet. But I know my own personality, and I’m definitely among the “secure base” obsessives.

    I just told my wife she needs to help me counter or qualify that. And she was like, “wha?” I’ll explain it to her later. Three cheers for beautiful memories!

  11. There are so many things I love about this post but I think my favorite is just how present you are and how it shines through your words.

  12. Aww you guys look so happy!

  13. What an awesome experience. Truly. It can be so hard to stop and soak up life’s great moments. And before you know it, they’re gone. Thanks for letting us peek into the awesome.

  14. Oh my word – so beautiful. What a special week for you two. xo

  15. Sounds wonderful! And goodness, she looks so grown-up in the photo of you two in the water!

  16. I love what you mentioned about supporting her decisions and not making them!!!
    How true