Our Mother/Daughter Bucket List

the plunge

My Noelle is three, and as I watch her jump off the driving board in the crystal blue water it hits me, she’s not a baby anymore.  I’m the mama of a bouncy, beautiful and brave little girl with a world to explore.

As parents, especially with our first borns, the first years are all snuggles and safety, feeding, changing and car seat checks.  We track milestones and baby proof endlessly until one day we wake up and realize that we have so much more than just this one day to sustain, we share a lifetime with our children.

As we cruised down the parkway yesterday I found myself singing “On my Own” from Les Miserables, loudly, with interpretive hand dancing.  Noelle looked at me with a coy curiosity and I had a sudden urge to introduce her to the classic musicals!  Music Man!  Sound of Music!  Phantom of the Opera and My Fair Lady! (even tho the ending drives me  nuts)  

God help me she will have a strong show tune repertoire to hum through life.

I have a daughter to guide into a woman, as the days add up to years I’ll expose her to as much of the earth’s beauty as I can, and inflict as little pain as possible.

I know she won’t be a mini-me, she will bring fresh new gifts to our family, yet I wonder what I can help her fall in love with.

So much to share, I’ve started jotting it down.

  1. The thrill of creating with her hands, in the kitchen, with a ball or yarn, however her spirit expresses itself.
  2. To retreat into her God whenever the World is too much for her, and all the times in-between.
  3. The unique colors in every sunset, how they never fail to thrill.
  4. To believe that she is worthy of all the love God pours upon her and should respond by loving the masterpiece her made her to be.
  5. How to be gracious and tender when others share their hearts with her.
  6. The perfection of hot chocolate sipped on a cold night lit only by stars and Christmas tree lights.
  7. The silly pleasure of singing and dancing in the car.
  8. The safety and depth in her Daddy’s coffee brown eyes.
  9. How to go blueberry picking and head home with as many in your belly as in your bucket
  10. How to make bake her Grandpa Verkaik’s Christmas Cookies.
  11. The breathless escape of a good novel, and that it’s okay to get swept up in the lives of fictional characters who echo her heart.
  12. There is no cookie cutter beautiful.
  13. How to retreat into a warm bath on a hard day.
  14. To connect with boys without giving herself away, I’ll need a village here.
  15. That serving others brings more Joy than serving herself ever will.
  16. How saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong” changes everything and ultimately makes her stronger.
  17. The gift of being a part of stories, woven all around her.
  18. The difference between good and crappy coffee.
  19. That you don’t have to be a great dancer to get down with your bad self.
  20. Not to measure herself by everyone else’s version of success.

So much life to get out there and live with my girl, God what a gift!  I’m sure this list will lengthen as we grow together through our mother daughter days.

What mother memories make your list?

Which ones are on the docket for you to share with your daughter, either now or someday?

Have I forgotten something?

  • Mark Allman

    I like your idea of having a bucket list together with your daughter. Below is an idea of how to track a bucket list and also how you could randomly select an item out of the bucket. As you will see this is on a blog by Rebekah Freelan.


    You will have to ask her what she wants on your bucket list.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Thanks Mark!

      • Mark Allman

        To clarify I was referring to asking your daughter what she wanted on your joint bucket list; could be interesting to see what she would like. Something you might update from her perspective every year or two.

        • http://leeweishar.wordpress.com Lee Weishar

          I love the fact that you have list!

  • http://joycannis.wordpress.com Joy

    Beautifully said. I am impressed with your list. You’re such a great mama.
    This is definitely something I would like to start doing.