She's Not Zoey...
For months now she's killed me. She's somehow managed to make me slip from confident and contented in my role as a father, to uncertain and often times unhappy. She's tested us in ways that Zoey just didn't. The two are so wildly different...so incredibly opposite. She gets upset when she doesn't get what she wants. She screams. She cries. She likes to challenge us with frequent "no's" and likes to pull her arm away from your gentle grasp. I've raised my voice more to Maggie in eighteen months than I have in five years with Zoey. There are times where June and I retreat from her thinking as much about damage control as direction. She's made this parenting deal a lot harder than in needs to be.
I've never seen eyelashes so long, and her smile could melt mountains. She says "please" and "thank you," and most frequently follows direction and aims to please us...She can be the sweetest child in the room, and I know that someday I won't have to worry about her. No one will walk on her...no one.
That screaming...and those "no's"...those tears, and all of those "sit on the stairs" moments...
She's not Zoey, and someday, when she stops saying "no," and my shoulders feel strong enough to carry the weight of her uniqueness, and accept all of the challenges that she seems to relish laying at our feet...someday when I'm ready to be the Dad that I know that I can be, in every moment, with either child, in that instant I'll only recognize my own eyes in hers.