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Friday, March 25, 2011

Mothering

John Mayer sings: "Mothers be good to your daughters, cuz daughters will live what you do. Girls become lovers who grow into mothers so mothers be good to your daughters too."
or something like that....

at the onset of my daughter's high school career I had an incredible sense that my parenting journey was pretty complete. If I hadn't imparted to her what she needed to succeed...

work ethic, honesty, resonsiblity, trustworthiness, brains, power, self confidence....

it may be too late. She was 14, a baby still yes, but she was picking her own classes, doing or not doing her homework, choosing her friends, driving the drivers ed car. . . .

None of that I could do for her. I could influence her, sure, but I can't pick or choose or make her do anything. The foundations of her life have been set. It's time for her to begin choosing the floor plan of the life she intends to build.

And yet we had a moment this week.

My daughter is having a season where she feels hesitant, unsure, rejected. Her wants and dreams aren't being handed to her. I gather she is internally weighing the effort it's gonna take to get to where she wants to be.

High school is hard.

She sat on the couch. I sat in the chair. The t.v. blinking some randomly absurd sitcom. I watched her sulking. Feeling frustrated with her lack of bravery  - the one thing I wished she possessed more than anything  - I asked for her full attention.

"Look at me" I said. And amazingly she did. We locked eyes. I knew I had a chance, a moment to speak.

God help me be wise, I prayed.

"Listen to me, child I am going to tell you the truth. You're not supposed to know what you're good at today. You're supposed to take all of high school, all of college, and even all of your twenties to try and figure it out. You'll fail more than you'll succeed and that's ok. Find a way to make it all fun. Take all that time and then at the end of it, do what is good and right and fun. You'll figure out what you're good at then. Not now. Try everything if you want. Because that is what now is for." 

She was the first to break our gaze. She picked up her phone and her fingers began flying along the keyboard. I sighed in disappointment. But then a surprise, "Could you repeat that?" my daughter asked "I want to type that in the notes section of my phone".

I guess I still have a little parenting to do.

us Mother's Day 2009

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