Hi, I'm Stephanie

 

 

 

  I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice so much that I decided to have five daughters and name the second one Elizabeth.  Like a modern-day Mrs. Bennett, I spend my days raising my girls so they will be happy and independent when they grow up – only I prefer that they make their money instead of marry it.  And if my youngest runs away to London with some loser at age 15, I will track her down and haul her home myself.  But I’ll totally do some sightseeing first.

 

Kira

 

The Guinea Pig.  Gives me hope.  My husband in feminine form, she just gets more fun.

Lizzy

 

 

 Energetic, smart, kind, and will argue her convictions to the death. 

 

 

 

Hallie

 

My Hallie Priscilla. Unique fashion sense, desperately wants to live in a purple house.  Loves skunks and fruit bats.

Sophia

 My girly-girl and lone lefty.  Charming, gracious, stubborn, preternaturally practical.  And ya, she and Hallie are identical twins.

Scarlett
Scarlett Bella, Bella-boo.  Becoming a daredevil. Spoiled rotten, practically perfect.

 
Mr. Man

My intensely private husband.  Hilarious, smart, compassionate, good. 

 

Joan Rivers on Housekeeping:

I hate housework.  You make the beds, you wash the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.

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Amen!

"I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God"

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Wednesday
May262010

Life with Lizzy

 

This is Elizabeth Grace Cozzens, age nine.

The haircut and toy dog are tokens of our last mommy-daughter date.

I realize that Lizzy has been a little underrepresented in this blog.  It's not because I'm less aware of her or that she isn't as interesting.  To the contrary, I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with a post that sufficiently explains just how interesting she is. 

Lizzy is a study in contradictions.  She is angelically good and makes me want to tear my hair out.  She is obnoxiously loud and too quiet to hear.  She is warm, outgoing, and shy.  The one constant? She is never boring. 

Here's what I came up with for the rest:

Lizzy has a kind heart, and she is brave.  When a new student starts school, Lizzy becomes that child’s instant friend and guide.  She is the only one of my children who will voluntarily clean a room just to give me a pleasant surprise.

 Lizzy is smart.  She soaks up information like a sponge and spits it back out in creative and impressive ways.  Her teachers adore her.  I look forward to seeing what she does with her considerable natural abilities.

Lizzy is stubborn.  She looks at all the information available and makes up her mind.  Woe be to the unfortunate parent who disagrees with her conclusion.  When planning our recent mommy-daughter date, I gently told her that we might not be able to do everything she had planned because her wish list was getting expensive.  She shot right back, “So how much did you spend on the field trip with Kira?”

Lizzy is a lot like me.  Maybe that’s how she ferrets out my biggest insecurities as a mother and takes me to task on them.  My natural impulse, I regret to say, is to argue back; to get angry. 

I have to work very hard to remember that in spite of her large vocabulary and sophisticated reasoning, she is still a child.  And it might be that she knows how to hit where it hurts precisely because the same things bother both of us.

For reasons I don’t fully understand, I feel more protective of Lizzy than I do of my other daughters.  She can be tough, but she is also tender.  I am realizing that the person I need to protect her from the most is me, in my weaker moments.

If I want Lizzy to reach her potential, if I want to channel her boundless energy and intelligence and innate good, I need to be a compassionate, controlled, thoughtful mother to her.  She needs to be respectful to me, and I to her.

I see her becoming a tireless advocate for good.  She has a natural instinct to fight for the underdog, and it's not an exaggeration to say I think she might change the world.

I just have to nurture that instead of trying to squash her into a more convenient shape.

 

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Reader Comments (5)

Not to mention she is also beautiful!

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJana Brown

I concur wholeheartedly and in an unashamedly biased fashion.
- Thanks :)

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Cozzens

Family Dynamics by S. L. Cozzens

Lizzy seems to be one not satisfied with the status quo. It is a testament to her spirit as well as her parents that she speaks her mind when she feels the need to.

And not that I would know from experience but I imagine having a child who monitors the ethics of your parental decisions (vocally) is good for both of you; that is if you can find the balance between limiting and nurturing her assertiveness. Perhaps you and Lizzy will develop an adult mother/daughter relationship sooner than later.

I can say for sure that Lizzy is a lucky girl to have a mother as self-aware, and willing to check her pride, as you are. Two of Five has big plans.

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Crud - I forgot to put that in this post, Jason - I have indeed been thinking that Lizzy will be far more comfortable as an adult than she has been as a child. We've often said that she screamed for the first six months of her life because she didn't have any other way of arguing with us.
I hope we can do a good job raising her. I really do think she has amazing potential, and I need to stay out of her way as much as teach and encourage her.

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Cozzens

(I'm so happy you fixed the link!) What a great insight into your daughter's personality. I really like the way you told it. I could feel your frustration sometimes and also your intense love for her (I got a little teary). I personally adore Lizzy and so does Alyssa --- when she speaks in her nice voice I hear Lizzy in it.

February 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorinne

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