I love my girls. :) I love to watch them be kids…to see them pretend and laugh and play.

My second and third daughters love to pretend to be a different character each day. One day, they’re Cinderella, the next, they’re Tiffany (their swim teacher).

At times, though, I have worried about our oldest, because it doesn’t seem that she pretends as often. Sometimes, I find myself telling her, “You know, sweetie, you can pretend to be anything you want to.”

She’ll always say, “No, that’s okay, I’ll just be me today.” And that’s fine with me, but I just want her to know she can play and be silly sometimes.

She is such a good girl, and she helps me so constantly, that I tell her almost every day, “I just don’t know what I would do without my [child #1]!”

The other day, when I was away and daddy was with the girls, they were all pretending and playing, and again, #2 and #3 were pretending to be princesses and having a great time. #1 was again being a bit more serious and “just being herself.” Matt mentioned to her that it was just fine if she wanted to pretend to be a princess, too. Again, she declined. Matt asked her if there was any reason that she didn’t ever want to pretend to be something else. Her answer surprised us both.

“I just don’t know what you’d do without your [child #1].” Just what I have been telling her every day. She went on to say, “I want to be here for you, so I like to be myself.”

After initial feelings of guilt that I was somehow stealing her childhood, warmth and love flooded over me for this girl who is trying in everything she does to help and love her mother.

“We underestimate how genuinely and frequently our children want to please us.”
-Neal A. Maxwell

It may not be obvious to us right away, but we can all be a little better about trying to notice the little ways that our children, truly, are genuinely and frequently trying to please us.

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