My best friend and I always used to laugh about how when it came to kids, she wanted all girls and I wanted all boys. Even in my early twenties I was anxious at the thought of being the mother of a daughter.
But here I am, the Mother of a three year old little girl who looks a lot like my husband Kel, yet acts so much like me. She is full of more energy than she can manage and her creativity astounds me. Lately I’ve been devoting hours of my week to worrying about her being bound to repeat all my hurdles, all my pain.
There is a corner of my heart that is still convinced that History is going to repeat itself in her, in me. I hate this truth but it does no good to deny it.
80% of her day is spent pretending to be a kitty, and I have to remind her over and over again that I don’t speak kitty so she needs to use people words.
I bought her a set of wooden stringing beads this weekend so that she could play with color patterns and learn to work the lacing string through the holes. She has no interest in stringing them and instead takes her shoe and fills it with the beads, zooming it around, pretending they are puppies in a rocket ship.
Lately I’ve been finding myself asking “is that normal?” over and over again. I spend countless moments worrying that the way she is playing indicates an internal problem that will hold her back in life. I scan other children at birthday parties comparing behaviors, wondering: “Is she going to be okay?”
But, what if the only fruit of this worrying is her learning to feel abnormal or “all wrong?” What if she wonders if she’s loved just as she is? Or feels like a burden or bother in her own home?
Well that just won’t do.
I can’t make sure that she’s an academic whiz or a soccer all star or the diva of the choir room. But I can do everything in my power to teach her, show her that she is loved just as she is. I can help her learn to channel her energy into passion and find systems to make sure she gives attention where it’s needed the most.
I will advocate for her, whatever comes down the road, set her up for success, but most of all I want to make sure that she leaves our home knowing that she is Beloved.
She is a child of God and He is the One who poured into her all the life force I worry about harnessing properly. He wove the world together to thrill and delight her, and I’m here not to worry, but be the hands and feet of love and direction in her life.
May we all be able to see our children with these eyes, God’s eyes.
May we teach them thankfulness and delight by showing thanks and wonder over his Creation in a way that is so authentic that it’s contagious.
May we all worry a bit less about what exactly normal looks like and spend more time loving our children just as we find them today.