It’s a little embarrassing to me that I haven’t written as much about the gift in my life that has never failed to motivate me past boundaries I didn’t think I could surpass any longer.
I tell her in quiet moments when she’s not feeling her best that she really, truly has no idea of how much she means to me, and she doesn’t. But, all of that can get lost in the shuffle of every day life, the shuffle of my life and hers, and ours as a family, the changes we’re both going through, the hurts we’re both facing, and though we have always been inseparable, the realization comes slowly that separation will come. It’s foreign, but there, and I know when it does happen I won’t be ready for it, even though I knew it was coming all along.
She’s not an infant anymore, born of a mother that really had no clue of who she was, and I didn’t. Just 23, my naivety to the world, motherhood, marriage, may as well have been that of a teenager, but I did know that this child needed me. I knew I wasn’t perfect at what I was doing, but I still woke up and rocked her at 2 a.m., holding her in my arms and nodding off to sleep worried that I may drop her as I sat in our rocking chair, but it never happened. I had an instinct not to drop her. I continued to grow into my instincts as her mother, and found that all I wanted to do was protect her.
I found that I had to from things I would rather not focus on in this post, but I will say she’s one of the most resilient creatures I’ve witnessed (could be a little biased). She loves to draw and is really skilled at it, getting better everyday; she loves animals and insects and any living thing; she stands up for the underdog even if it’s a meal worm being treated poorly during science class experiments by classmates that don’t feel its pain; she gives mini-memorials to fallen bees or other insects she sees that just didn’t make it; she asks me to watch my step because she’s spotted an ant hill and doesn’t want me to disturb it. She has the most amazingly unique accent when talking to animals that I need to get on video more, it’s the funniest thing. She prefers animals to humans. I prefer my humans, because she is one of them. Not that I don’t love our animals too.
Sometimes, in my wary state, I fail to see her because I’ve been tired from my own problems, wrapped up in my own world, exhausted from all the responsibilities and worries that I have to juggle on a daily basis. Parents cannot and never will be perfect.
But, something about how I’ve raised her has paid off, and in that I can take some comfort. She listens to me. Really listens. She has some of my same stubborn spirit, and I remember for years talking to her about opening up about things she’s feeling, that she needs to learn how to communicate, not just lash out, especially at me, and for all of my lectures and admonishments, some are actually working. She’s an amazing teenager, 9th grader, who is in the first year of learning what the first steps are to becoming an adult, and while I’m not fully ready, I’m going to keep teaching her:
My stoic, beautiful, all creatures loving, resilient, funny, artsy, forever baby girl.
Photo Credit: Her, “Moma Bear” ❤ 2015