Marina Grace

Marina Grace

Marina Grace

While I am in yoga and Roman is at school, Marina stays in the kids care program at my gym. She has never been in daycare or stayed in any type of group care setting before, so I was very nervous about leaving her there for an hour or so while I was in class. The care givers there are so sweet and were so reassuring to me. Still, I cried when I dropped her off for the first time. The thing about Marina is that she is a wild card, with her I never know what I will get. I am still very much traumatized by her first two years of life when bouts of screaming for hours on end for no discernible reason were a regular thing. And yet, I left and came back an hour later, and everyone was smiling. The teacher said, “She was great.”

It’s been a few months now since she has been coming with me and every time when I come to pick her up, the greeting is the same. All smiles. Yesterday when I arrived to pick her up, the teacher said, “She is such a happy girl. She is always smiling and she is so helpful.” Again, my eyes welled up with tears. To think of where we came from to where she is now, it’s overwhelming, in a good way. When she was an infant, I could not see around the enormity of the difficulty. She would cry all day. Most of the time I thought, well, this is it. I am going to spend the rest of my life tending to this screaming baby and eventually child. It’s never going to get better or easier. Faced with the challenge of her “colic” (I still hate that term) coupled with the other difficult things I was facing at that time, sometimes I wonder how any of us got through it.

But we did, and now, a few years later, here we are: my smiling, happy girl. She is the sweetest thing, but she still has this screaming streak inside of her. If everything is going her way, she is the sweetest and happiest child that you will meet. But when things don’t go her way, she can turn from happy to fierce within seconds. She will scream, bite, cry, hit, and kick without any reservation. This is where she departs so vastly from me and Roman. We, too, are emotional creatures, but we are also timid. We will do our best to stay quiet, to keep from making a scene. Marina takes no issue with making a scene if she wants to. She is so loud. It often startles me. However, her teachers say that she never exhibits that sort of behavior when she is with them. Which is a relief and makes me hopeful that it is something that she will keep in check when she needs to.

Having a child so different from myself is such a new experience for me. Roman is so much like me in every way, while Marina is mostly the opposite of me. Of course, there are many times when this can be a challenge. But more and more I am learning to embrace it. It is a whole new world, bending my mind & my heart to mother her the way that she needs to be mothered. All the while, I know that these differences between us will deepen and widen as she grows older and comes more into herself and pushes every boundary further and further still. So I try with every fiber of myself to embrace her as she is, to honor our differences, and to cherish her fiery, strong, stubborn spirit. Because it is who she is. She came into this world screaming and I believe that she will scream like a warrior goddess through her life and she should be loved for that. I don’t want to tame her spirit, I want to cherish it.

I love being a mother with my entire self. All of my life, I prayed that one day I would be a mother and God answered my prayer so thoughtfully. I could ask for no greater gift.

Marina Grace

Marina Grace

Marina Grace

Marina Grace

Marina Grace

Marina Grace

Marina Grace

These gorgeous photographs were taken by our family photographer, Erin Witkowski. I have many more from this session coming up soon.

One thought on “Marina Grace at 3 years & 8 Months: A Child So Different from Myself”

  1. you know this is so me and Leon. And he is the same at daycare/kindy and now school. Sometimes they have picked up on it a little bit but never to the extent as at home. and its not like we feed it, as whatever attention you give him makes it worse so we dont give him anything. so im sure people think he is a brat and its somehow us (he has had his public meltdowns with us too, where he gets sensory overload and then something doesnt go his way and he is planking and he already looks height wise like he could be 6. people give you rude stares). Its so much harder with children like this, but the saving grace for me is Leon has been a good sleeper, and the fact that he LOVES AND ADORES daycare. He was like this on drop off for us to everything. Reed, while I have medical apts with what has been going on with me this year, iv had to put in 2 mornings a week and it took him nearly 2 months to settle and even eat there! Its so funny how different kids are. Thank goodness Marina (&Leon) loves to be in preschool/now school here! in fact when we have holidays he nags me the whole time when he can go back. seriously from day one. We have gotten all excited because our local YMCA runs an amazing school holiday programme and weve signed him up for some exciting trips out and themed days. He is going to love it. Some of his friends do it too so he will no doubt bump into them. I think with these kids you have to survive how you can. Its so funny because we had a nanny to help out when Leon was lil as I had no one else around for my first kid (just 2 mornings a week). and after I came back from running an errand one day she told me “he is a daycare kid” I never believed it until way way later I put him in daycare. and i also saw how he learnt stuff there, at home he would just scream all day! and it was for my own sanity too. whereas Reed and I had a beautiful time at home just us too, my lil buddy. And that makes me feel on some level so bad, but then Im so grateful to have had a more “normal” experience this time around. adrian and i have grown to accept that Leon operates differently. we also know he has sensory issues and we go with that. weve also developed tactics for calming him (ie time out in his room with music going REALLY helps him). there is so much more learning you have to do with a kid who isnt your average joe, esp one that yo ucant understand as you are so different. so whatever works to get you through the day because these kids were sent to test us, to make us better parents. but we all need breaks and whatever works for them (&you) is the way to go.

    i had pictures of my first kid being like reed, long days together. hanging out. doing all the fun stuff i did as a kindy teacher but one on one with my own kid. and it was like THINK AGAIN haha. he had his own ideas and it was really about compromise on what actually worked to get everyone through. I know Marina is prob in preschool as you have to work. but know that its probably the best for you both and you dont have to feel guilt at all this way !

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