Every parent's security blanket & instruction manual
I hugged my teenage daughter goodbye as she went to school. She was now taller, bigger and-with the help of the Stairmaster and free weights-stronger than I would ever be. She was now my big girl and, lo and behold, I was now the little girl.
Later that day, in an early childhood parenting workshop I was presenting, the inevitable question arose around meal times and conflicts about food. I related how my daughter had survived the first two years of her life on scrambled eggs and bananas and how worried I had been about her health. Our conflicts over "How many more bites of chicken until I can have dessert?" had lasted forever. I suddenly flashed to that morning hug and how sturdy and healthy my daughter had become. If only, when she was younger, I had known about this morning's hug. If only, when she was younger, I had had a mental picture of her as she was today, so big and so strong.
If only, when my daughter was younger, I could have taken a future snapshot of her as the sparking, self-confident, loving responsible woman that she is today. If only I had known how kind and loving she would be to her friends, rushing to their side when they needed her. If only I had known that she would spread joy in the world through her wondrous spirit and that she would someday spend her allowance on pizza to give to the homeless on the street. If only I had known that she would someday say to me, "Mom, I just cleaned my room and I feel so much better with it neater!" If only I had known that she would someday say to me, "You're the best. So much of who I am today is who you have been to me."
If I had been able to see this future snapshot of my wonderful daughter as she is today, how would I have been different as a parent when she was younger? Taking this leap of faith, believing in my heart that my daughter would truly become the woman I always hoped she would become, how would I have been a different Mom way back when? Trusting more in her. Trusting more in myself. Seeing more fully, appreciating more fully, exactly who she was then. Not letting the conflicts and disappointments become scary future projections. Not worrying about who she would be. Not sweating the small stuff. I would have been more relaxed. Much more relaxed. Enjoying much more. Taking that leap of faith. Enjoying, enjoying, enjoying.
©Irene Shere, LLC