Creating Peace

A few days a month I spend the day with a little one that I like to call Gracie Lou Who. As a new one-year-old, she is developing her personality, including those things that she likes and does not like.

Spending time with her over the past few months, I’ve learned what will make her cry:

  • Not getting to play with something, especially it is something that will probably make a mess (like a plant with dirt) or might cause an electric shock (like the fan in her room or the cord charging my phone)
  • When she is tired but absolutely does not want to take a nap. I’ve told her that one day she will adore naps, but my logic is not convincing as she cries for 15 to 45 minutes in the crib before passing out.
  • Someone leaving the room, especially mom or dad, but I get a few tears if I go into the kitchen while her back is turned.
  • Getting stuck under or between pieces of furniture. Gracie Lou Who is quick on the army crawl, getting better on traditional crawling, and super close to walking. But going in reverse from those movements can be super tricky.

Now just as I know what will make this little one cry, I also know what will bring a joy-filled smile to her face:

  • Reading books together. Upside down seems to be the favorite option which is challenging my letter recognition in a whole new way.
  • Waving at dogs, people, or sometimes just shadows while we’re on a walk.
  • Giving high fives. This was one of my life goals for the little one, with lots of practice. So I’m actually not sure which one of us smiles bigger when she requests (and is of course given) a high five. Next up: fist bump.
  • Swinging at the park. Our rhythm is she swings for about 15-20 minutes, and then we swing together on a big swing for a few minutes (longer if there are people to watch). I was getting jealous of all her time riding so I had to include some together time.

In a world that can feel so big, so overwhelming, so impossible to change, I love having this little one in my life. Someone that I can comfort when she cries and bring a smile to just through a swirl and swish around the room. It’s through little victories that changing the world seems a little more possible.

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