Sometimes I think that I was given the child I ended up with through whatever greater power – as an aside, she once informed us that she chose us – to demonstrate for me a better way to live my life.
I mean, just for starters this kid opened me up to love. I’m not very good at love – giving or receiving – but I sure am good at loving her.
She’s taught me about putting someone else’s life ahead of yours completely. She’s also taught me that sometimes you need to take care of yourself first in order to take care of someone else.
She’s shown me that I can still be creative, that I’m more goofy than I ever really knew, and also that I am hilarious. Seriously funny.
She’s instilled in me a new kind of confidence that I never knew I had. And a fierceness. I will do anything to get her what she needs. And now, more and more, to get me what I need.
She’s taught me that I am an awesome mom, which I never expected.
Sometimes I sit back and watch her and she’s like a metaphor. All the little things she goes through somehow relate back to me and the things I’m dealing with.
It was a beautiful day and I took her out to the park after she got off the school bus and we dropped her backpack at home. We haven’t had many chances to play outside so far this spring. It’s not a big park, the one right down the street, but it has swings and things to climb on and she’s still little enough that it entertains her.
This little park happens to have a set of monkey bars that she has been eyeing since we moved here two and a half years ago. At first she wasn’t tall enough to reach them, but she had us hold onto her while she grabbed the bar and then she would hang for a bit. But she would always watch so closely when older kids would come and go back and forth on those darn monkey bars.
This day, too, she was watching a friend not much older than her, a little girl from the school bus, who had already mastered them. But my kid, she would just reach out and hang, or kick her legs up and turn upside down.
And then she came over to see me at the bench where I was sitting, holding on to the dog. She told me she really wanted to do the monkey bars, but she was scared. And I told her I knew that and that she could just try and practice for now, because if she drops she knows she’s not going to get hurt.
So back she walked, climbed up on the platform and tried.
And lo and behold she was successful. She went easily from one end to the other and the look of pride on her face was something I’ll never forget.
She was scared, she didn’t think she could do it, but then she tried and it turns out she could and she was not only fine, she felt great.
Yep, that definitely seems like something I should take to heart.