I watch her as she handles life, friends, school and responsibility and I think to myself, “I love the person she has become.”
As a mother, one of our many worries in life is who our children will grow up to be. Will they aspire to greatness? Will they know happiness? Will they be good people? Will they be the amazing and successful individuals we think they can be? These are normal parental questions that we all ask ourselves at one point or another. And, there are times, let’s just get this out there, that we want to simply close our eyes from the sheer exhaustion of it all and hope for the best…especially when they become adolescents!
My sister, who raised an adolescent before me, told me once, “Relax, she’s an adolescent and adolescent means to simply to be immature…you can’t expect someone in the throes of adolescense to do everything you want them to do, it’s just not going to happen.” Wise words from someone who did it before me and very good advice because I found myself in a constant state of worry that my child would not make good decisions or display some long-term effects from the stress of divorce and a strained relationship with her father. I worried that every pull away from me was a signal that something was wrong.
What I’ve learned is that parents who are engaged in their child’s life will innately know when a pull is just a sign of independence or a sign of a problem. Our children will absorb our guidance and our love even if they do not express it; they pay more attention to us than they want to admit. I’ve also learned that my child is who she is, she’s not me and that difference is something that a parent needs to consider. Our children will most definitely approach life with a different view or tackle an obstacle in a way that is completely foreign to us but that’s okay, because they are who they are and that should be celebrated.
I love who she’s become and I’m even more excited to watch who she will eventually be. I am discovering there is a fine line to walk, as a parent, learning to allow our children to be whom they want to be while at the same time guiding them towards their potential. What fun this is, what beauty unfolds everyday; it’s like watering an exotic plant and waiting to see it in full bloom.