Happy Birthday to my 2nd oldest, my mini me, my Esther leader among her peers, Miss Olivia Grace Wakefield.
People call her my twin, but the reality is she’s more than that: she’s a part of my legacy. Sure, we share a lot of similarities. As my mother used to say to me, we both love the sound of our own voices. We ask a lot of questions, sometimes incessantly. There’s a childhood story that gets told at every family gathering by my aunt where she recalls me asking my parents, is this dump our house? upon moving to a new city. Olivia has plenty of her own tongue and cheek moments as well. As middle children go, we both march the beat of our own drums, i.e. rules don’t suit us very well. As an innovative leader I find this to be an admirable trait. As a parent, I’ve learned it can be a headache! (I guess what goes around does come around! Sorry to all my teachers!).
I remember the first day she went to school. Following in her elder sister’s footsteps (a phrase that I’m sure she’ll grapple with all her life), Olivia didn’t really take to school like Riley did. First off, she cried everyday. For literally the entire school year. We would have meetings with her teacher (who taught our oldest Riley as well) and couldn’t figure it out. At a certain point we just came to expect it and moved on. Even now, in pre-k at a new school most mornings are emotional tugs of war with this one. It’s almost as if we have to trick her into being happy to go to school. But then on the flip side, she’s the life of the party apparently once she gets to school. Riley on the other hand, wakes up with a smile, readily does whatever we ask, and school…well it might as well be her favorite thing. There are so many differences between the two there are too many to name. It likely reverts back to many of the things I read about in The Birth Order book.
Olivia was our opportunity as parents to learn firsthand that each child will be unique, and require their own approach to parenting. As a general expectation we are developing leadership capacity in each of our girls. The fun part of parenting though is seeing who they grow up to become.
I spent some time this morning going back and looking at the blog that I wrote to you during your first year of life (I have these types of letters for each of my girls) and it was remarkable just seeing how far we’ve come thus far. As Olivia turns 5 today I’m looking forward to seeing where she goes from here.