I remember when you were just barely into the twilight of your womanhood. The future was an open book of blank pages. There you were with the news of new life budding within your small frame. Sure, you had options; many of them. Who knew as you took on this arduous task of raising a child, while still a child yourself, what the terrain of your future would look like?
Some days you thought you had it all figured out. Other days, you were pretty sure that nothing short of a miracle fueled your tenacity to keep pushing forward.
Diapers, hair bows, and bandaids packed into the days with textbooks and flashcards, the two of you were quite the sight those first two years!
But you did it. You graduated college and all the while learning how to sing a sick baby to sleep and study for exams in the same night.
Fast forward to buying your house. Negotiating hundreds of dollars replaced counting nickels and pennies to split a happy meal at McDonald’s. Choosing wall color for a little girl’s bedroom dominated memories of nighttime lullabies in a shared double bed during the college days.
Buying an older house meant learning how to re-wire the electric for lights, replacing the toilet, and realizing Home Depot really does sell that random piece you think is broken in the dishwasher. Cleaning the gutters and planting a garden were now being juggled with new responsibilities.
Rescuing your adventurous, but stranded, girl out of the top of a tree, teaching her how to handle the playground bully, and Saturday night wrestling matches over bath time with a curly haired muddy tomboy now became your parental focus.
But you did it. And the stories you have to tell! I know you want to smile at just the thought of those days.
Nothing prepares a parent for the feat of raising a teenager. No manual can bullet point right and wrong answers to the enigma of a girl in puberty. The love/hate relationships that change as quickly as an ocean tide, the joy of an outfit on Monday discarded in the back of the closet on Friday, and nights on the road traveling to soccer or basketball tournaments. Preparations for prom, applications to college, and that dreaded phone call after she has her first car accident made the days swirl by like a windstorm.
In the midst of her drama, somehow you juggled a thriving career, kept a yard, cared for two dogs and a fish while piecing your own heart together after a short lived marriage.
But you did it. You stood proudly beside that girl, not quite woman, on graduation day. Your heart swelled at the idea that you were instrumental in the becoming of this beautiful human being.
College days led to this tiny human being now turning into a world traveler. She has left the nest and you are in the realization that it is very empty and hallow without her there. Why stay? Start over. Move on to find your own new adventures.
You did it. You sold the house and most of the furniture in it and resigned from your job to move to a strange city working a new career. You overcame loneliness and illness and the travails of being lost in a new state. You made a whole new life again.
So here’s a love note to you sweet child, no longer a child. Consider how far you have traveled from the little girl holding a bundle of new life; clueless to the outcome of this lifetime commitment. Your favorite motto was always “That’s ok, I have a plan.” Even if you didn’t have a very good plan, it always seemed to work out. This is not by chance or luck of a draw. It’s because you are a warrior. You are an over-comer. You are a feisty adventuress who never let fear stare you down when you were faced with an obstacle.
Go on. Keep walking down the path of life feeling good about yourself. There’s nothing wrong with looking in the mirror and saying, “Wow, look at you, beautiful woman. You got here and there is still more life to do!”
Because for every obstacle you overcame, every tear you brushed away while rolling up your sleeves, your daughter thanks you. She thanks you for teaching her how to do it. How to not be afraid to jump, how to grab opportunity by the horns, and how to stand on her own two feet and know she can be anything she wants to be.
Long ago you made a choice. That choice was to figure it out and do the best that you could.
Thank you for not letting yourself down.
“The woman I was yesterday, introduced me to the woman I am today; which makes me very excited about meeting the woman I will become tomorrow. ” ~ Poetic Evolution