Teaching Her We Don't Always Get What We Want

Dear Frog Princess, We headed to Epcot this past weekend to enjoy the Flower and Garden Festival. As usual, our first stop was the butterfly garden. Because it's early, only a few butterflies were fluttering about. Some were drying their wings. We spent a lot of time in the garden because you've come to expect butterflies to heed your desires and land on your little fingers.

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Related Post: Capturing the Special Moments

You waited. You willed them to come to you. But they weren't getting close enough. I decided to capture your image because, under the right amount of sunlight and with the right concentration, you appeared the most beautiful to me.

Waiting on her butterfly

Related Post: Opening Weekend of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

"Mami, why are you taking so many pictures of me sad?", you asked.

But you weren't sad. You were intent in your desire to have a butterfly land on you. And I, in the background, cheered you on and willed that same butterfly to make its way to you. You looked ethereal. Like a fairy in her garden making special magic.

You believed. And I believed with you.

I hope you never lose that. I pray that you will always be intent on what you want. But I hope you understand that it's okay if you don't get it. And that you can always try again.

We had a ball after this so you see, you weren't really sad. What you felt was a tinge of disappointment. I loved how you bounced back from it.

We sat on a curb and had fish and chips. Then we went for some funnel cake. We roamed the world and you requested pictures in Japan.

So you see, it's okay if we don't get what we want at the moment. This day turned out to be perfection even though a butterfly did not land on your fingers.

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Related Post: Capturing Unforgettable Memories at Walt Disney World

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And guess what? We'll be back to try again. Because, that's what we do. We try again. And eat funnel cake, of course!

P.S. isn't Epcot beautiful? We talked about how cool it would be to live in this little cottage.

Beautiful Cottage at Epcot right behind Canada.

Epcot at night. View from The Land.

Teaching Her to Find Her Roar With the Good Dinosaur

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Disclosure: I have been paid to blog and promote The Good Dinosaur as part of a sponsored campaign with DiMe Media and Disney/Pixar. However, all opinions expressed are my own. If I had to put one name to my family, give one description to define it, it would be transcending.

I come from a long line of strong women. Abuela had to bury the man she loved and subsequently spent the rest of her life in mourning clothes. But I never knew her to have a frown on her face. Siempre sonriente. I don’t know how she did it. But in that smile, in that mischievous glint in her eye, you saw it. The roar.

Mami & Me

Mami was the same. Being borne of a strong woman means that she possessed a certain strength that could be seen past her jokes, her laughter and her giving spirit.

AbuelaI spent a lot of time away from Abuela. Moving to the States meant we left her behind until she was able to join us over 10 years later. But it didn’t diminish the love and the learning. The summers in the Dominican Republic brought with it a sense of adventure and many moments of learning from my ‘uelita.

From her and for Mami, I learned about faith and fearlessness.

It’s something that I share with the Frog Princess often. Especially as she’s starting to navigate the school world. We talk about her being grounded and standing up for herself. She is so sweet and is always thinking about others but it’s important that she stand up for herself and can roar when I’m not around.

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Watching the Good Dinosaur gave me a chance to reinforce those lessons. The ones passed on to me by Mami and Abuela. I pepper it with my own lessons but I know that I’m building a strong connection between the past and the future.

Dinosaur_Side_EyeI'm so here for this dinosaur side eye, y'all!

Y’all, I cried a little too much while watching this movie. It does my Mami heart good to see it and I love that it reinforces what I am already teaching her.

The Good Dinosaur

We talked about what it means to be good. About her standing up for herself and about courage. Several times I caught her cheering Arlo on and encouraging him. I also saw her cover her eyes when she thought he wouldn’t stand up for himself. That gave us a moment to talk about fear and about how we can overcome it.

This is definitely one for our collection! Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur will be available on Blu-ray™, Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere February 23!

The Good Dinosaur. On DVD 2/23/16!

How were you taught to find your roar? And how are you teaching your little ones?

https://youtu.be/LoaN90yssc0

Teaching Her to Be True to Her Heart

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Every once in a while, I'm presented with a time in parenting that you know will leave a footprint on my child's path. Last night was one of those moment. The Frog Princess has been unusually clingy. I got home from the MomsRising staff retreat Saturday morning and she has been under me ever since. I think that two trips during January might've been a bit too much for her.

When I dropped off yesterday, she was weepy and sad, asking if she "had" to stay at school. It was hard to walk away because I recall all too well days when I, as a child, felt the same way. I remember one day where I ran back to Mami after drop off and she allowed me to go home with her. Every time the girl gets like this, I fight that urge to bundle her up and take her home.

She requested special cuddle time after dinner and bath time. I happily obliged. We read a book and then just snuggled up with nothing but our words.

Out of my girl flowed a string of thoughts and feelings that made me ache.

First, she said she was sad that I hadn't picked her up (one of the moms called to say she could and I said okay). I apologized for that as I'd told her that I would pick her up that day. I was reminded that I shouldn't break my word.

Then I said something else and she told me "Mami, you said sorry". See, I've been telling her to not apologize so much. When I go to correct her, she says sorry. It's a bad habit that I realize now she's picked up from me. I explained that we were starting new habits and I needed her help whenever she heard me saying that word. We talked a bit about that and then she told me this:

Mami, when I hear the word "sorry" it makes me sad.

I hope that I've started reversing the trend of the apologetic female.

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We talked a little more and out came this conversation about how she doesn't like people to see her cry because she doesn't like to be asked what's wrong. That led to us chatting about how it was okay to cry. This is what got me though.

I feel like even if I am not happy I have to act like I'm happy. Like I have show people I'm happy.

Well, dear friend, you can imagine how that made me feel. Why is my girl feeling pressure to be happy all the time? Is it something I said? Something I did?

"Parenting a girl sometimes feels as if I'm drawing her heart and filling it with all that it might ever need."After a prayer in my head, I explained carefully that she did not have to appear to be happy. That if she wanted space to feel what she felt, she could do so in her room. I poured as much love into her as I could and reminded her that her dad and I always wanted to know how she felt. And that it was of the utmost importance that she always remain true to her heart. That we would love her through anything.

I hope my words coated her heart and that the intent behind everything I said covered her soul from now until the end of time.

I saw her make a decision today that she normally wouldn't have made. I saw her say no to something that she normally would've gone along with. Today, I saw her guarding her heart and owning her feelings.

I pray that I am always able to offer up words that will help her along the way. It's not easy but I feel truly humbled and honored that she shared so much of herself with me. I am keenly aware that it might not last but while I have it, I will cherish and enjoy it.