I’ve never been the “fun” or “silly” mom. I mean, to some extent, but I wouldn’t say that I’ve had my focus on the right ways to meet my kids where they’re at vs. where I’d like them to be, selfishly. It’s not easy to admit it and I’ve always been thankful that daddy is the fun and silly one, naturally.

Emma has always been daddy’s girl and their bond is amazing and I’ve always admired it. This girl is so strong, smart, silly and stubborn— and we butt heads more than anything and I’ve been praying for the longest for some breakthrough with her and her attitude towards me. Tonight, I decided to be over the top silly with her, just her and I. There was tickling, silly voices, belly laughs from us both and something broke.

The tension, frustrations, disappointments and confusion and for the first time I got to experience the full relationship I’ve been longing for with her.

You see, Emma loves to be silly and she’s quite hilarious, but when I’m so busy that her silliness becomes a distraction to me— I miss it. I’m too busy telling her to stop being loud, or stop this and that, than taking a moment that I’ll never get back to join in with her, be silly together and let her be herself.

I love these photos as they depict something beautiful that it took me years to realize, but seconds to change. The first is Emma’s carefree spirit and my tight grip, and the second is her complete freedom and me sharing in that with her instead of reigning her in and that… that is what my sweet girl needs. Freedom to be her silly self and have a mama that sees, recognizes, and loves every part of her and will join in to encourage her gifts and her love for life and all things a bit weird and silly.

A safe place in my arms to just be… and and in that she will become.