I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter, Anaya. I was so paranoid about raising her properly, bringing her up to be a "good citizen" and a "strong woman." I was also single at the time, so I was hoping she'd also turn out to be a super awesome feminist, maybe turn into a doctor or a movie star, and then she'd take care of her mother forever and ever. Because we would be the best of friends.
Even while she was still in my belly, I worried about communication with this tiny little person inside me. Would she even want to talk to me when she got older? How would I talk to her about the difficult issues in life? Would I even be able to talk to her without stumbling over my words or distancing her through lame attempts to be cool and appeal to her obviously better tastes than mine? Anaya hadn't even been born yet and already I was worrying my head off about choices she'd be making that wouldn't even happen for another (hopefully) thirteen to sixteen years.
There's so much time there to consider. She was born three days early and I eventually lost my worries about communication. I was caught up in returning to work, balancing breastfeeding and work (note: in the military, this does not go so well), finding the appropriate daycare situation, reconciling with her father, our eventual marriage and his deployment... I could go on for an entire blog post about Anaya's first year of life and all the tumult and upheaval that occurred therein.
Fast forward a few years and Anaya now has a little sister, Breanne, and I'm a work at home mother instead of working full/over/insane time in the Navy. I've been enjoying the time I'm able to watch them grow older. Anaya and Breanne are now 4 and almost 2, respectively. It's mind boggling to think about all the time that has gone by and everything that has changed in what sometimes seems like a short amount of time. And now, of course, that I have just a fraction more time on my hands, I've been circling back to thoughts of communicating with this two wonderful girls as they continue to grow.
Those thoughts, though, are often thwarted by the response I get whenever I do attempt communication. I'm often met with whining, huffing, and other diva-esque tantrums by Anaya. She's convinced she's a princess of the highest sort. Breanne, on the other hand... well, let's just say she's got a set of lungs and a tendency to scream and squeal incoherently. All this was frustrating at first.
And then I realized something - if they're responding, at least they heard what I said. So I'll let them huff and whine and squeal. It means they at least heard what I said.