A year and half old.

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My baby girl will be a year and a half this month. That means that come April 17th, our little one has been in our lives for 547 days. That may seem like a lot at a first glance, but it’s really not. That means that in the 10,429 days I have living on this planet, my little one has only been in it for 5.2% of it. It also means that in just 6 months, our Isabella will be turning 2, and I’m so damn proud of the little girl we’re raising.

Ever since Isabella was around 10 months, we started to see her personality. She’s bold, spunky, and demanding. She lets her opinions be heard, and as strenuous as it may be when you’re trying to get her to do something she doesn’t want to, it’s a reminder that we’re raising a human being, a little one full of life and excitement, and that has the potential to take on anything in this world. For me, she’s an indicator of whether or not I’m doing the correct thing. If she grows up to be the successful woman I can feel she will be, I’ve done my job right.

And with that comes a lot of responsibility. How do we know if we’re doing things right? Will we be able to instill in her the values that we want her to have? Recently, Stef and I were having a conversation about how we can get Isabella to understand the hardships that came from our upbringings. We talked about my experiences being raised in a first-generation household– how I witnessed a different way of living when I spent my summers in Nicaragua. My wife talked about her experiences in Brazil, and how her culture allowed her to be the person she is now. We know that Isabella will be privileged, and that’s a concern. We talked about how hard it was to assimilate to a different culture. How I have memories of wiping my butt with a newspaper in my dad’s village in Nicaragua or how my wife had to deal with bullying when she lived in Germany. How finances were always a concern in our households, or how we never grew up having anything our friends had– such as brand-name Adidas sneakers when that was the trend in middle school.

We know the culmination of these experiences shaped us. But we wonder, how can we teach these experiences to a little girl that will grow up not having any necessities unmet? How can we show her the experiences that her parents went through without having her ever experience what Stef and I have both worked so hard to overcome?

After days, it came to us…just the fact that we’re worrying about it means that she’ll be fine. It means we have that top-of-mind, and even if we’re going to give her all the things we weren’t able to have ourselves, it won’t mean that she won’t have to work hard for them. Stef and I have been damn great parents in the first year and half of Isabella’s life. We see it from how she behaves, what she does and what she’s like. There’s no doubt we’ll find a way to show her everything we want to– even if it means we take a path that hasn’t been taken before because honestly, we already do that— we’re always the first at everything.

So with that, my baby is almost a year and half old. It happened damn quick, and we’re only six months away from being parents to a 2-year-old. A two-year-old who already acts, cares and does things differently than other kids her age. And all because her parents have always been that way, and without knowing have instilled that in her.

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