Monday, May 20, 2013

growing a daughter without losing your mind

Get widget
My daughter thinks a lot of me right now.

She talks to me in the car, has a burning desire to tell me every little thing that happens in her life, asks my opinion about how to handle situations, and turns to me when she doesn’t know what to do.

Without knowing her age, you now know that my daughter is young...because she thinks her mother has a functioning brain.

In a few years, though, she will be older and I will in turn become much dumber. Even though I have a college degree, a professional career, and 50 years of life experience, her knowledge will soon inexplicably surpass mine. At least in her mind. At least for a little while.

But for now, I’m smart. And funny. And powerful.

I even control the weather.

On the way to school one day, I hoped out loud that it would rain. It hadn't rained in a while and we needed it badly.

My daughter piped up: “I don’t! I want to go outside for recess!”

I laughed, “Ok, then, I hope it rains in time for you to go to recess.”

She wasn’t satisfied. “That’s not specific enough. You didn’t say it should stop in time for us to go outside for recess. Change it.”

“Ok…I hope it rains at some point today, but either before it’s time for recess or after you have had recess. Is that specific enough for you?” I asked.

She harrumphed. “I guess it will do, but I still think it’s a little vague.” Then we went on to something else, and that was that.

When I picked her up from dance after school, she got into the van and said, “Well, I hope you’re happy! We didn’t get to have recess today, thanks to you.”

I had no idea what she was talking about.

She looked at me accusingly. “Mom, it rained! And it’s all your fault.”

I looked around and for the first time noticed the puddles on the road.  “So it did! rain” I replied. “I’m sorry you missed recess. But what does the fact that it rained have to do with me?”

She looked at me surprised. “Seriously? You hoped for rain this morning, remember?!”

I stopped and looked at her. “Wait a second – are you saying you think I made it rain?”

She folded her arms defiantly across her chest and looked away. “I told you that you weren’t specific enough!”

Wow, my daughter thinks I can control the weather!

I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or to silently grow drunk on my new-found power.
For a moment, I imagined myself in control of the weather, raising my arms to summon the clouds, calling down showers with a nod of my head, painting rainbows in the sky with my forefinger, and then sending the remaining clouds away with a flick of my wrists whenever it suited me.

But later, as I replayed this exchange in my mind, I didn’t laugh. Instead, I marveled that my daughter has such a sense of trust and reliance in me and my abilities right now.

That she sees me as not just her mother, but as someone who can move the heavens with a mere desire, who can bring down rain with a word, whose hope is a tangible thing with a power to impact the world.

That kind of trust is something worth living up to, and a legacy I want her to inherit. Like good seeds planted in fertile soil.

I want her to know that hope does matter. I want her to trust in something bigger than herself.

To hold her arms open wide and to soar into life knowing she is grounded in something meaningful.

To understand that everything we do, every word we speak, every thought we have, every prayer we utter – or don’t – makes a difference.

I can’t control the weather. I don’t want that kind of responsibility. But as my daughter matures, I hope she will continue to see me as a powerful woman, one who is capable of wielding that power… wisely.

Maybe I will even be powerful enough to survive the next ten years of her life with both my sanity and my IQ intact.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Have something to add? Let me know what you think!