This girl, she is somewhat of a study in contradictions. Harper loves pink and she loves accessories- I've lost a number of good necklaces at the hands of this girl. But she thrives when she is getting dirty, making messes, and doing things all by herself, asking for help only when she's frustrated and exhausted all of her tiny efforts on one thing. She dresses herself most days, because let me tell you, she has opinions; but at least once a day she still asks me to snuggle with her. And bandaids. All the time, all over the place, she loves her some bandaids. I've taken no less than a dozen out her baby brother's mouth because two year olds do lack a certain amount of discretion. There is also one stuck on our stove. I see it every day, but haven't taken it off yet. I don't really know why, but I don't hate the obvious presence of little ones in this home, either.
Like most two year olds, Harper is already so many things. Loveable, funny, talkative. Strong-willed and challenging, too. But the thing that I adore so much about my daughter is this: she embraces everything, whether they go together, make sense, or look right to outside world or not. Swimsuit top and jeans? Why not! Sun hat, sweatshirt, and bubbles? Of course. Warm socks and water sandals? If the shoe fits... (oh I love a good cliche!) This girl goes through life without much prejudice, and it's beautiful. I know this ability will mostly get shaped right out of her as she grows and starts caring what other people think, but her sweet little spirit has already taught me so much about my own, and how I model, or fail to model, confidence to her.
Because sometimes I think I also am one big contradiction, and this has always made me insecure. I want more babies, but I am dying to go back to school and work in some capacity. I love yoga pants and no-bra days, but I'm also a makeup girl and my MAC collection could rival most. I love a good, hard, sweaty workout and following it up with dairy queen later that night. I find good friends and good conversations to be the most life-giving thing, but what I really want these days is a few uninterrupted hours at a coffee shop so I can read C.S. Lewis classics. I write and speak of a God who loves us unconditionally, but I do and think things so selfish that I can't imagine the holy spirit wanting anything to do with my heart. And I want to be brave and able to live the "fear not" words we see so often in scripture, but I crave a safe home on a safe street with a safe amount of money in our bank account.
So many things that don't seem to fit together. And yet they are authentic. They are me.
I think the problem is that I've created all of these nice and tidy little boxes in my head, and the older I get the less I fit in them. I've made this system of "If I'm going to be this, then can't be that." If I'm a stay-at-home mom, then I can't be a student. If I'm an extrovert, then I always have to be one. If I'm a good Christian girl, then I can't... (I have about thirty-seven answers for that one so let's just leave it there.) I think we all start out a lot like Harper, simply and purely embracing who we are. Then somewhere along the line, I let what I want others to think of me do more shaping than what God says about me and my purpose in this world.
I'm turning thirty in a few months. It feels kind of big to leave my twenties, like maybe I'm finally an adult. But almost everyone I've talked to about the difference between our twenties and thirties says that the thirties are better: more secure, more confident, less time for crap (that's my word, not others'). As I get closer myself, I feel that. I'm watching my baby girl and starting to think that contradictions aren't bad at all- who made up the rules on contradictions, anyway? I'm paying more attention than ever before to how God wired me, to what brings me life, and to how those things affect those around me, mostly the people I share a home with. I'm learning that faith in Jesus is always right but it is not always clear, and sometimes we just have to take one step and trust him to open or shut the right doors. And I think I am finally beginning to understand the whole phrase "don't major on the minors." Because a million things could take our time and energy, but they certainly don't have to.
A little of this and a little of that. Around here, that's a perfectly acceptable thing to be.