Luna Suli at 2 Years Old

I snapped this picture today because I was taken with how cute she looked walking in my sandals, also intending to send a picture of her in the dress given by a friend. The more I look at it, the more I feel that it perfectly encompasses the personality of this little person. The spark, attitude, and strength of her. And of course the curls. That little face in all it’s seriousness. But mostly her fierce determination to be herself.

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She is particular about what she wears. Very particular. I cleared off the bottom shelf and moved her clothes to a level she can reach so that she can choose for herself what she’d like to wear rather than me offering suggestions only to be shut down with a spanglish “no este good” after holding up each item, every time she needed to get dressed. Items rotate in and out of favor. The purple sparkly Hello Kitty t-shirt has been replaced by this dress as her favorite.

After a family beach walk at sunset last night, followed by a bath, this is the dress she wanted to wear to dinner. She wouldn’t take it off for bed, but you pick your battles, so I let her sleep in it. We left for the beach this morning before sunrise, so it was convenient she was already dressed. When she charged off towards the tide pools and I tried to get her to change into her bathing suit, she told me she’d hold the dress up to keep it dry. Of course a few minutes later she was sitting in waist deep water, using shells to poke hermit crabs. We walked up to Coco Loco Resort for breakfast and she wore her dress right into the pool.

The photo above was taken several hours later, the dress now mostly dry. I had forgotten her sandals in the 5am car loading, so I started carrying her back to the car. Even though her feet are incredibly tough from a lot of time spent barefoot, the dirt was hot at noon. She wanted to walk though. I offered my sandals.

I remember battling with my mom about just about everything. What to wear was a big one. There was also the mandate to drink a big glass of milk with every dinner, take ballet lessons, practice the piano (none of which I wanted to do), but fighting with my mom over having to wear frilly dresses to school when I wanted to wear shorts that would better allow me to play kickball with the boys is a thorn in my memories. I don’t want Luna to remember her childhood as one constant battle with her mom. She doesn’t have to be what I want her to be. She doesn’t have to wear what I want her to wear.

Luna does have to sit at the table through dinner. She has to at least try everything served on her plate. She has to wear clothing outside (contrary to her nudist preferences), take an afternoon nap, and sit on the potty before bed. But I will allow her to choose her own clothes. I will honor and appreciate the fiery little person that reminds me so much of me, but is uniquely her.

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