Meet the Dragon Ninja Student Annabelle. The creativity award goes to the little lady pictured above.

She knows how to keep me on my toes, all hours of the day. One day, we’re painting toe nails (and whatever else she can manage to paint with finger nail polish), and the next day we’re playing dress up in Bubby’s old costumes and play fighting.

She’s a pistol, just like her Mama. It’s both thrilling and scary to know she takes after me. Every time I see that look of fury in her eyes and watch her little brow furrow and her little hands go to her hips, I shake my head (while trying to hold in a laugh.) She’s insanely independent. She’s sassy. She’s bossy. She’s going to make a fantastic leader one day.

She has the most adorable smile, bouncy curls, and mannerisms I cannot imagine living without.curly

She loves learning about anything and everything. She asks 2.5 million questions a day, most of which she already has the answer to. (I mean that sarcastically.)

All of this has me thinking about how hard it is to parent an independent child. I was one. How can I do this right for her?

PATIENCE…lots of patience. I want her to know her strengths. I want her to know how and when to reel it in. I don’t want to force her to conform to the ideas that some may have about how she should be. I want to accept her for exactly who she is, without giving her reason to doubt her take charge attitude.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this as an excuse for her to step all over everyone else. We value treating others kindly a WHOLE lot in this house. I don’t want others to use that excuse to try and change her, either.

Individuality is something that is equally as important to me. I don’t want her to grow up constantly hearing a negative message just because she is harder to parent than a more laid back, easygoing child would be. There is a RIGHT way to parent a headstrong child and I’m going to figure it out. I can’t wait to see where she takes herself. ❤

Shine bright, baby girl!