Friday, January 25, 2008

Like a Shining Star


Accepting who our kids are has a lot to do with how we see ourselves. When I was a young Mom, I looked at my baby daughter and, aside from being totally in love with her, saw visions for her similar to mine, or better than mine as gauged by my definitions of success and happiness.

As my kids have gotten older, they have taught me so much. In fact, I think I should keep on breeding, because I realize now there is so much more I need to learn; so much that I don't know. Kids are amazing that way.

What I love most is being delighted by them in the most unexpected way. Sometimes when I'm talking to my daughters, I am wowed by their extraordinary lack of interest in vocabulary. I will try to pepper our driving home conversation with words they don't normally use, and I spend my time explaining the meanings to some very uninterested kids.

So when I watch my oldest onstage recite Shakespeare as Olivia in Twelfth Night like it was her native tongue, I am understandably floored.

Likewise, there is my youngest daughter, brilliant but certainly not very graceful (she has demonstrated this with a broken foot as a result of doing nothing) and the least physical of all my kids. When I was pregnant with Jacob I would hike the foothills in our neighborhood with her and she would inevitably ask if we could drive, rather than walk, the hiking paths. So when she returned last night from a class skiing trip unscathed, grinning from ear to ear with tales from the ski lifts, I was also floored. She wants to go downhill skiing this weekend with me. Who would have thought.

I used to dread this phase of my life. I would pity my girlfriends who no longer had little ones with chubby fists in their homes, and I imagine some of you out there with young ones hear my stories of adolescent woes and cringe for when it's your turn. That part is dreadful, but the flipside of that coin is better than anything you'll know.

30 comments:

Crystal said...

I am so happy to hear this. I love the days we are living now and I have often wondered what it will be like in 5-10 years. I am more than willing to deal with all the tough years but to hear that they will be just as rewarding as the first years is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing your amazing kids with us.

Stacey said...

You're lucky to have daughters. my mom and i have always been close, but we fought like crazy too. now i'm 25 and i cna definitely say that she is my best friend and the person that i look up to most in the world.

kristen said...

The flip side of every age is better than anything we will ever know...it's all a wonder and a joy. Every bit of it. At least for me...

Don Mills Diva said...

Isn't that always the way with parenting? It's so much harder but then SO MUCH BETTER than you thought it would be...

Kathryn said...

Awe, this is just gorgeous. The best parents are accepting of who their kids are apart from them. And it sounds like you are wonderful at doing that. Your kids are so lucky.
I am dreading the fact that someday I will not have a baby in this house. This post changes that a bit for me. Thanks!
I just loved this post.

Circus Kelli said...

I'm looking forward to that phase. :)

Life As I Know It said...

My oldest is only six but I find that every stage is better than the last. He is becoming interesting! I love having conversations with him. REAL conversations. I imagine it keeps getting better.

Madame Queen said...

Mine are still young, but I love it when I see a flash of wit or understanding of a concept I didn't even know they knew. I love the baby stage, but I love seeing them develop into a *person* just as much.

I only hope that I can allow them to be who *they* want to be instead of who *I* want them to be.

Mary Alice said...

What a beautiful sentiment. So true. And Olivia….ahhhh.. the best character to be in 12th Night. What a drama queen that Olivia.

Sarcasta-Mom said...

I love watching my kids become real people more and more each day. It floors me too, all of the things they do, the things they say. I love knowing that I have a hand in the magical people that they are.

wheelsonthebus said...

Are you KIDDING? If I could see either of my boys playing any part in Twelfth Night, I would be ecstatic!

Emily

Kellan said...

What a lovely post!! You are right - it is better than anything you can ever imagine!!!!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful daughters and this lovely story - see you soon. Kellan

Captain Backfire said...

All I can think about when I hear Twelfth Night is the movie She's the Man. It was based on the play. Shakespeare and Amanda Bynes. Totally on the same level.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You are so right--I used to look with pity at mothers who didn't have toddlers any more--I thought they must be so sad. But somehow every stage that comes along is its own great stage. And when you're all done, if your lucky, you get to do it again with grandkids!

Nancy said...

Heart warming post. Little girls growing up is hard at every stage.

(SUPER hard in the teens, lol)

But as our kids grow, so do we as parents, and learn and appreciate who they are as individuals.

Beth said...

What a great post!

I am already having fun conversations with my preschoolers and now I'm looking forward to all the great things we will talk about when they are older!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

The more you have, the more you learn. It's true.

Mrs. G. said...

I love this side of the coin so very much.

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
flutter said...

she looks so regal!

Marie said...

Can't wait myself. Those chubby fists may be cute, but they also pack a wallop.

Jennifer said...

I don't cringe when I hear stories from parents with older kids -- I love them. I love that there is so much more to come. Thank you!

Just Seeking said...

You're so awesome. I too savor the moments watching my children grow into their own beings--developing their personalities and talents. I loved the baby phase, but this stuff is definitely better.

Leanne said...

Yep. I'm missing my babies, but you know what? These older kids who have taken their place are not so bad really. I like them, and they teach me a lot too.

Amazing journey isn't it?

Laura McIntyre said...

Its lovely to hear that, your correct i do almost dread the days my children are grown but in someways look forward to it. I cannot wait to see the people they become

crazymumma said...

you know that I know exactly what you are talking about.

Beautiful.

jakelliesmom said...

At each phase of their growth, I mourn a little of what is lost but am thrilled and delighted at learning who they are becoming.

Hope the skiing was amazing!

(And oh my gosh, had I seen your comment intro before, I'd have been leaving many, many more comments to have the glow about my skin. Had I only known ... )

Family Adventure said...

I'm glad you are enjoying this time. And I agree, it is wonderful when kids exceed our own expectations when it is least expected. :)

Heidi

bipolarlawyercook said...

Your kids are so lucky to have you.

Cathy said...

Watching my stepdaughter morph into this gracious and lovely young woman has been amazing to witness.

So I know what you mean.