My daughter is one of a kind. She’s bright-eyed, intelligent, joyful, witty, stubborn, and brave. I often think of her future and have no doubt of her success– she is relentless is all that she does. I realize her potential, and it pushes me to be a stronger person for her. Though as her mother, I do have my doubts.
As she grows, will she see me as capable and as strong as I see her? Will she want to be just like me, or be nothing like me? Some of it seems irrational to me at times. Beyond middle school and teenage years (which seem to be “difficult” ages for the mother-daughter relationship), I question whether or not she will view me as a relevant, valuable influence on her life and her choices. Although she is only two years old, I make an effort to listen to her thoughts, her stories, and her silly jokes. Hopefully, she will always feel open to confiding in me, to telling me her troubles, desires, and dreams.
As I’ve shared before, looking through pictures helps me to reflect on the happy, carefree moments we have throughout the day. Besides feeding my picture obsession, I can always find at least one moment that makes me smile in between the tantrums and frustration. In the above picture, her eyes are locked onto me as I’m smiling, unaware. It dawned on me that she is watching and modeling what I do when I’m not watching her. She will imitate my authentic self. Of course, she has inherited characteristics and traits genetically; but her path, her perspective, and her point of reference will be largely determined by my own. The way I treat others; the way I respond to adversity; the way I value myself, and WHAT I value most will impact her more than any plans or dreams I may have for her.
I see that I am her best friend, the roadmap to life in her little mind. During those times when I am frustrated that I can’t get half an inch of space to use the bathroom, eat my food, or just BE, I mentally note that she is only clinging to what she knows and trusts. It’s my job to help her become independent and self-sufficient, and she will gain that confidence with my guidance. When she sees me happy, she is happy. So when the guilt rises up for wanting to have time alone, I also remind myself that she will only see authentic happiness if I am taking care of myself.
For all the doubts I have, I am certain that being honest with myself and with her is the best gift I could ever give her. Through all my good choices, my mistakes, my victories, and my failures, her love is unconditional. I am irreplaceable, as my own mother is to me.
I pray she will continue to be strong, to love and care for others, to stand up for herself against hate, and to be a leader. I pray she continues to watch me.
Tell me some things you hope and dream for your children. 🙂