Girlie is now 3. Next birthday I think she’ll be 15! When I was pregnant with her, we didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl (Racer’s choice – I wanted to know). When she was born and we learned Girlie was a girl my response was “What am I going to do with a girl?” I know how to handle boys. I know how to get boys to do what I want/need them to. I’m not so good with girls.
I suppose I’m figuring that out though. Parenting Girlie has been an interesting learning experience. I have learned a lot about myself in being Girlie’s mom. Why? Because she is just like me. Don’t get me wrong – she looks just like Racer with her beautiful, big brown eyes. She acts just like me. Ask my mom and she’ll confirm that frustrating fact. Why frustrating? I’m not the easiest girl to get along with and put 2 of me together – hair pulling, name calling and an all out cat-fight can ensue. In this case, I’m bigger, so I have the advantage (most days). So yeah, parenting myself has NOT been easy.
Girlie and I are both stubborn, opinionated, like to have things our way, smart, loving and sometimes manipulative creatures. Good thing I can see right through her act (Racer has a harder time and I don’t really want him to learn; then he’ll see right through my act too). We love life and can get overly excited and tired by too many things. We like to have our hand in everything and we are nosey. Hmm… curious sounds better doesn’t it? We are natural-born leaders and don’t like to be told what to do.
In parenting Girlie, I have been smacked in the face with the realization that I am the one modeling and showing her how to be a woman, wife and mother. That feels like such as awesome and daunting responsibility. There are so many things about myself that I want to change; I don’t want her to be how I am on many days. I hear her repeat what I’ve said to my other children or husband and I cringe. Wow, I want her to be kinder to my grandbabies. I want her to be a woman who loves Jesus so much and walks so closely to Him, that only love and joy come out of her actions and words. I want the world to look at her and see a reflection of Christ.
I suppose I should start there. When I start with self-change, then like a stone dropping into a pool of water, the change will ripple out from there.
I also, don’t have the full burden of raising my child. I have a community of believers that are also raising my children to be strong in their faith. I sure couldn’t do it without them. The church nursery workers give my Girlie love when she is small and learning to find church as a safe place. Her Sunday school teachers share all the great songs like “Zaccheus” that I forget to teach her. The grandmothers in the church give her lots of love and hugs when Girlie’s own grandmothers live so far away. The preschool teachers gently teach her when it seems like my focus so many days is disciplining her. My friends love her enough to give her space to be herself without having the responsibility of being her parent. The Holy Spirit guides her, Jesus leads her and God gives her more love than I ever could.
I love being Girlie’s mom. It’s hard, however, I know – I pray – that someday, I will look at her parenting her own little girl just like her and think “She didn’t turn out so bad after all.” And I’m a better woman because she is my daughter.
Girlie – I love you the pinkest.