My love for my firstborn has been fought for, scratched out of the shock of adjusting to motherhood, built on the strong tension of two firstborns raising the first firstborn of the next generation.
- I love her deeply, because her arrival forever divided my life into before and after.
- I love her fiercely, because she represents all I want to pass on to a world I will never see.
- But I find it hard to love her lovingly, passionately.
I hold her to high standards, because I know the world does not wait for those who don't keep up. And yet she marches to her own drumbeat.
I get so frustrated with her for being her own person. She didn't do well with swimming or karate. I received calls from her teachers twice in the first three weeks of school. She just lives in her own world!
I forget sometimes, the gift we all have, of being allowed to make our own mistakes. We all get to come to this world and draw our own conclusions of it, to be shaped by our experience and to live with the results of our own choices.
This 30 Days of Excellence challenge, noticing excellent qualities in my kids every day in September, has blessed me so richly. Either it was really well timed, or it changed my perspective, for by September 2 I began to notice myself falling in love with my firstborn more than ever before.
In the month of September I have begun to appreciate her so much. She has begun to confide things in me that reassure me she is listening, she is getting the things that are important to me:
- She loves science.
- She loves being weird like me.
- She wants to own an alpaca farm when she grows up.
She came home from school a few days ago saying,
You were so right, Mom, about what you said yesterday. When someone would say to me, "You're weird!" I used to say back, "No, you're weird!" But today when someone said it, I said, "Thank you!" and he did not know what to say or do! It was so great!
This kid gets more awesome every day!
She still struggles with focusing in school. Maybe she always will.
But her character has begun to emerge, and I love it! She is really becoming the young woman I have always wanted her to be.
This morning before school, I read her the story of Samuel anointing David the next king of Israel. The point was that we look at outward appearances, but what's important to God is what we are like on the inside. And what's important to God is really all that matters.
Then I took her shopping after dinner. We were picking out clothes and she said:
Everyone's going to love my new clothes! Oh, wait. Well, really it doesn't matter, because I know God doesn't care about my clothes as much as he cares about the rest of me. But I still like my new clothes.
I don't know why I am so astonished, but here I am, declaring myself thrilled to realize my daughter is growing up, growing into herself, showing some character qualities that were always important to me. And I like the person I am beginning to see!
We had so much fun shopping together tonight, just the two of us. I really like my daughter. Her emerging personality and character are an amazing gift that I find I am only just beginning to unwrap.
Linking up today to Tuesdays Unwrapped.