This is the question I often get from Cora's mom or grandma when they pick her up, and it's a question that puts me at a loss for words. Really, can a nineteen-month-old child be anything but good?
I know what they mean: Did she mind perfectly? Did she behave the way we want her to? Did she make it to the potty every time she needed to use it? Was she always sweet-natured and obedient? Did she pick her toys up when she was done with them? Did she eat everything set in front of her? (Ha! That last one will never happen, but at least she has stopped eating dirt and rocks, for the most part.)
No. A resounding no to all those questions. But she was good, because her heart is good.
The child isn't two, but she has been in the throes of what is known as "the terrible twos" for some time now. She is stretching her boundaries, finding out what she can get by with. She will grab something she knows she isn't supposed to have and run away with it, laughing, and then when she is caught and the item taken away, she will throw herself onto the floor, kicking and screaming.
Was she good? Yes, she was. She knows how to push my buttons to the point of frustration, but she is smart, and she is learning, and she wants to do the right thing, even though she also wants to try out the wrong things several times a day. Once in awhile I lose my patience and raise my voice. Yesterday I even pouted at her for awhile... and then she crawled up on my lap and gave me one of her famous hugs and love-pats, just to let me know she wasn't holding a grudge, so why should I?
Our little journey with Cora has been full of surprises, as well as reminders from the distant past when our own kids were small; I do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. As this kid grows up, we grow wiser, if we're lucky.
Today is a new day. Dear Lord, help me to do no harm to this growing child who is becoming her own person more and more every day, and let me learn from her how to enjoy this journey we are on together. Thank You for bringing this good little girl into our lives. Amen.