Wednesday, September 08, 2010
That's what we used to call her. Hadley that is. When she was first born, we had a boy already. She was referred to as 'the girl.' "Where's the girl?" "Did you put the girl down?" "It's time for the girl to eat." :) It was cute and very fitting for her...not only because she was, after all, a girl. :) But, because even while in the womb, I knew she would be a feisty one. She didn't need a cutesy, mushy title...'the girl' was sufficient.
I don't know what tipped me off to her strength even before she was born...she wasn't any more active than the others, although I felt her moving at 9 1/2 weeks (I am not lying...if she had been my first, I would've never thought it so, but I knew what that feeling was and it never subsided after that). But, I just knew that she was a strong personality. Because of this, I loved the name Percy for her. I had always liked that name and then I saw the movie The Spitfire Grill years ago (way before marriage). It is a bit of a heavy movie in ways, but I loved the feisty-ness of the main character...Percy. I found the meaning of the name...'pierce' or 'destroy' or 'piercing the valley.' But, I just kept feeling like she was more of a 'piercing the darkness' kind of gal in my belly...those are the words that I kept getting.
In the end, Joel liked the name Hadley more and felt like that was the name we were supposed to go with. I loved it too, so we went with that. But, I was definitely right about the Percy personality!! She has always been a force to be reckoned with...and we love that about her. If steered and guided in the right direction, what a wonderful personality to be born with. Strong, fearless, relentless, determined. All of my children do/will have these qualities to some extent. The difference is that Hadley was born with them...they come naturally and have to be tamed down in some instances.
The name Hadley actually means 'field of heather.' At the time that we were searching for girl names (when pregnant with Grady...we don't find out the sex of the baby until birth), we didn't think much of that meaning...we were less than impressed. Then we were shopping in Costco one day and there it was...a crate of dried dates. The company name...Hadley. Their motto...sweetness is our nature. When I was pregnant with Hadley, although I liked the name Percy and felt she would have the personality of a Percy, at the same time, I was fine with naming her Hadley...the 'sweetness is our nature' meaning kind of being spoken over her to balance out the strong personality. :)
Although, just recently (TODAY actually) I found this...a little story about the wildflower Heather and all of its attributes. WOW!! She is definitely perfectly named. The sweetness combined with the strength...incredible (go read it...at least just the first little part)!!
And so, today I wanted to write about her...and who she has become. I am so very proud of who she has become. It makes me smile and swell with excitement. So very glad to see who she is these days.
She's always been very resourceful and such the leader. Once we were outside at our house in Anapolis. The kids were just playing around at the park and we were discussing dinner plans. Hadley, at the age of 3, made her way into the cafeteria nearby and by the time we realized she was gone (all of about 3 minutes I'm sure) had somehow gotten a plate of food and sat down to eat it. I'm telling you...even without being fluent in a language, we are sure she could survive just fine without us. Another time, before we left the states, she had just turned 2. We went to the health clinic and were waiting for literally hours along with everyone else. The children there were all older than her (ranging up to around 5/6 years old). Yet, she had them all lined up on the wall following her lead (I even have pictures...so funny).
But, remember this story? Yeah...this is what we had to work with. :) Strong. STRONG. And just downright mean sometimes (although we never called her that...just saying it here so you get the full picture; besides, you can see for yourself in that story I linked to above). I'm not convinced by the 'strong-willed child' label...that you treat them any different or need a book or manual for them (I'm not bashing the book that I haven't even read...I've only ever heard good things about it...I'm just saying that with the same principles held to tightly that you use with the 'non strong-willed child', it's possible to do it without the book...my opinion...but, I am so down with book knowledge and tips, read the book if you want :)). If anyone was strong-willed, it would be Hadley. Yet, with the same consistency and love and consistency and respect and consistency that we used with the others (although, she may have required a tad different amount)...we now have the fruits of our labor with her.
Now? What a difference. She is one of the most caring people I know. She hurts with those are are hurting...cries even if they are not. She is deeply concerned for those who are in trouble...who are sick, who are lost (as in children whose pictures she sees on billboards), who are not doing the right things, etc. The other night, she was wanting to show Grady how much she loved him, so she packed up some of her most precious possessions and gave them to him. Afterward, we were in the kitchen and I looked over and she was crying discreetly. Grady had one of those possessions and was playing with it. I asked her why she was crying and she didn't want to tell me. In the end, I found out she was crying because she missed her possession. Grady tried to give it back but she wouldn't have it...she started crying even more at that idea because she wanted to show him how much she loved him and didn't want to take it back. She cares deeply. (*we worked out a schedule so that she can share her special possession with him and not have to totally sacrifice it to show him that she loves him :))
So, I just wanted to write about sweet, strong Hadley. Although she still has that very visible strength, she has grown SO MUCH in the other very important things. It is such a joy to watch her take such good care of her sisters, work so hard around the house (all without being asked), have such fun with others with her extroverted self (and bringing her less extroverted brother along)...she really is so very well-rounded. All at the age of 5 1/2. :) Love her.
P.S. She currently aspires to build apartment buildings, houses, and towers when she grows up.