My baby just turned two. She says "Please!" when she wants something, draws "happies" (happy faces) on pieces of paper (we think she might finally have figured out that she really isn't allowed to draw in books, especially library books), and likes to dress up in dresses and pretend to be a ballerina.
I love seeing my children grow up. Sometimes the process seems so slow--I blame pregnancy and postpartum fatigue for that--but as I put old-fashioned clip-on earrings and a grown-up necklace on dd9 last night for a church "tea party" (no actual tea, just water, but lots of sweets and flowers), I had a momentary vision of her in ten years, a lovely, fun-loving, and self-assured 19-year-old dressing up for a special evening.
I think she actually will be a confident young woman. I'm very grateful for the chance to homeschool/part-time public school her these past few years. She has an Aspie streak and exhibits social delays similar to those which made some of my school years miserable, and I think our current schooling arrangement is going to allow her to skip a lot of that misery herself. Children need socialization time in a group setting of peers, but it's torture for some children to have to be in those situations 35+ hours a week (much more if one counts extracurriculars and social media interactions). I didn't really start recovering from my "pariah years" in grades 5-6 until I was homeschooled for a semester in 8th grade. Sometimes kids just need a break. Emotional wounds are like scabs in that they need to be left alone for a while in order to heal.