I thought it was time to show off pictures of the kids again. Here are a few of Will outside at our friend’s house. He was being entertained by Laura’s daughter Lilli:
And here are some I took today of Will and Elise. Will will sit on the couch fairly well by himself, though sometimes I’ll return to find him face down in an awkward position. He is getting more coordinated with his hands and loves to grab toys (or in this case a blanket) and stuff them into his mouth. Sorry for the bad quality on the one with the smile, but he wouldn’t smile with the flash because it startled him.
Today in the car Elise and I were talking about growing up. Elise has somehow developed this concern over growing up. Last time I talked to her about it she said she didn’t want to grow up because she didn’t know what she would look like. So today, she brought up the subject again.
“Mom, what will I look like when I grow up? Will I look the same?”
“Well, you’ll look a little bit the same, but not exactly. Everyone changes when they grow,” I replied. I figured from our last talk on the subject that Elise liked how she looks now and was afraid of changing too much. So I asked the next question thinking that I knew her reply, but it turned out I was completely off.
“Do you like the way you look now, Elise?”
“What do you mean, Elise?”
“Well, when I look in the mirror, I just sometimes think I don’t like my face.”
I’m completely stunned at this. Is this normal 4 year old thinking? “Well, I think you are pretty Elise. I really like your face.” Not only does her thinking take me by surprise, but I think she would be hard-pressed to find anyone that would tell her that she isn’t pretty.
“Don’t you ever think you are pretty?” I add.
“Well, I think I am pretty when I wear my flower dress.” (This is the dress she has on in the previous pictures. I had made her take it off to go out on our errand because it was cold.)
“Yes, you do look pretty in that dress, but you look nice even when you are not wearing a dress.”
“Mom, do you think that when I grow up I will look like you?”
“Well, not exactly. But you might look a little bit like me. Everyone is different. Do you want your face to look like me?” I ask almost fearing the answer.
“Yes” she replied.
“Thank you,” I return, relieved.
“I would also like my face to look like Aunt Lizzie’s.”
“Well, you are related to Aunt Lizzie. You might look a little bit like her.”
“And I like Mandie’s face too,” she adds.
“Well, you are related to all of them because they are your family. So you might look a little bit like each of them.”
I’m not sure where all this is coming from, but Elise definitely puts a lot of thought into these things. Sometimes she comes up to me with a really sad look on her face and just blurts out something she is worried about. Other times she comes to me and tells me that she is thinking something that she doesn’t want to think, but she can’t help it. These are usually scary things. I am working a lot with her on how to control her thoughts. I know that she probably will struggle with this just like I did and still do. If dealing with this early means she will learn better how to control her own mind, then perhaps all this is worth it. I think the advice I give her is something I should use more often in my thought life as well. Here it is: Elise, when you start thinking something scary or bad, stop thinking that thought and pray for Jesus to take it away. She complains that this does not work, but the other morning she came running into my room so excited because she hadn’t had bad dreams. Dreams are another thing that we deal with on a regular basis. Also, scary music. . . I try to teach her that when it comes to music it is only scary if she makes it scary in her mind. It is all up to her. We’re still working on that.
Oh, and to those that are keeping up with Elise’s 4 year old life goals, she has now decided that she will be a ballerina that gets married.