My Daughter And I
I’ll admit, my daughter and I don’t always get along. We are like best friends who disagree and argue about a lot of stuff.
Maybe it’s because of her age. Or mine. Or both. Or the fact that we are the only two females – besides our cat Cleo – in the family. Or maybe we are too much alike. Or maybe it’s hormones. Who knows? Lately though, things have been even more difficult than usual. Yes, there has been yelling, and slamming of doors, and someone may have called someone else a name or two or three.
Now I realize, part of the reason for this conflict is the time of year. Dance competition season always add extra stress to our household.
Also, she is on the verge of becoming a woman. She is just finishing high school. I know she has some trepidation about her future. What is she going to do? Where is she going to go? And how will she ever get along without me or her father or her brothers to help her out? (We’ll always be there for her, but you know what I mean.)
I also know that she is anxious to gain her independence. I want her to have that.
I remember when she was little – all cheeks and hair. In my eyes, she could do no wrong.
I remember her snuggled up in her sling as I walked to the park, or to the library, or to the grocery store. She slept anywhere. As a third child, she had to.
I remember her first steps across my mother’s living room carpet. She was fierce. At just nine months, she took off and never looked back. Again, as a third child with two older brothers, that was almost a requirement.
I remember her riding her big wheel – her “hog” as she called it. No boy was ever going to beat her in a race.
I remember her first dance recital, this skinny little thing – all legs – dressed in her pink tights and ballet slippers skipping across the stage. I knew then that she was made to perform.
I remember her confidence (and her attitude) as she grew. She was a leader, not a follower, though sometimes she needed to be reigned in.
And now here we are – she is all grown up, a good three inches taller than me, and as beautiful as she is smart.
Sadly, I find us at odds quite often.
Are these just emotional growing pains for the both of us? Is this just another phase? I hope so.
In my heart, I know we’ll get through it. It’s just hard sometimes.
Yesterday, after a particularly hostile encounter – as I was breathing heavily in my car and gripping tightly to the steering wheel – I thought of something. I needed a reminder. She did too. Something concrete. Something we could read.
Reminders are good. They work when your brain is in a fog.
So I made this sign. It is for those moments when we both want to rip each other’s hair out. In order to get her to see it, I’ll have to post it on her Facebook wall. It seems that’s the only way she sees anything these days. Or if I attached it to a twenty dollar bill. I think I’ll go for the Facebook option. Better yet, I’m going to tell her that I wrote about her on my blog. That will get her here for sure…
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