She is the reason that we now have an unusable TV with colorful fireworks sprouting from a dent that was made when “it wasn’t working right.” She is the reason I had to recently call the Poison Control Center when she saw someone making fun and putting Gatorade in an empty cleaning bottle and she thought she should try it too.
She is the reason that I rarely get a full night’s sleep and often question my ability at teaching wise decision-making skills. She is the reason my house can go from spotless (OK, semi-clean) to horrendous within minutes. She is the reason I moved the snacks up higher in the pantry and then moved them back down after she scaled the shelves.
She’s the reason that multiple times a day I cringe and close my eyes as I anticipate an injury while she jumps from the top step of the top bunk or speeds off down the sidewalk on her bike. She’s the reason I never get a meal to myself. Even if we have the same food on our plates, in her eyes, the food on my plate always tastes better.
But, she is also the reason I belly laugh multiple times a day at her exuberant facial expressions that transform any negative moment into us bursting out into giggles. She is the reason I am so captivated by her slinging of silly sayings and stories that are sure to have a super insightful ending.
She’s the reason I have enhanced my belief in being who you are, as she doesn’t sacrifice something that she loves to fit in with the crowd. She doesn’t need to be just like everyone else; she is perfectly fine with being who she is and will make it known. She’s my reminder of that daily.
Her compassion and persistence are the reasons that my lap always has a place for her at dinner and my arms are always open for a middle-of-the-night cuddle. She never lets me forget just how much she loves me as she proclaims that she loves me “ten thousand two hundred thousand, ninety-nine, twenty-seven times more” after I already said, “infinity times infinity.”
If I had a bad day, she picks up on it. She is the reason I know I have someone always there for me. She will curl up in my lap and cup my face with her little hands. Heck, she has even put her arm out for me to be held by her. She is a fixer and has learned all the stressful, sinus points; she will push on my cheeks, squeeze at the top of my nose between my eyes or rub my shoulders when she thinks I am tense. In fact, she has pretty much mastered the walking-on-my-back massage.
And her determination drives me daily. Never quick to ask for help, she will single-handedly untangle any challenge given the chance. Don’t tell her she can’t accomplish something because she will attempt every avenue to attain it.
She is fierce, silly and maybe the most confident yet empathetic person I have ever met; a blend of qualities that are typically one or the other yet she configures them all into a sweet concoction. She owns them all and knows how to use them at just the right time.
And this week, she turns 5.
She is my baby — my youngest child — and I cannot believe she has reached the “whole hand” age. Yet, the lessons she has taught me these last five years depict the knowledge of someone well beyond her years. None of them have been intentional, they are just Reagan being Reagan and throwing out bits of wisdom in her actions constantly.
Don’t get me wrong, she has also been the reason that I have been frustrated beyond belief because of her wild antics and strong-willed personality. There have been many times where I was sure that I was failing at raising this firecracker of mine. But, she always hits me with a solid comeback in her actions and emotions that tells me that she is grasping our parental direction — she just holds it a little differently.
While my pre-kid self never thought I would let my child be so wild and free, she is the reason that I challenge myself to be better, look at my surroundings in a new light and always seek out an adventure. She is just as much my teacher as I am hers.
And she is the reason I am so grateful that God chose me to be her mom.
Happy fifth birthday, Reagan Starr. I love you infinity times infinity.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.