Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Daughter’

Dear Daughter…Embrace Your Inner Goody Goody

I love watching you grow.  It’s my favorite.  I like watching your brothers grow too.  That’s also my favorite.  When I became your mom, I thought that I was supposed to teach you everything you should know.  I didn’t know that you would teach me things too.  You have.  I like who you are.

The other day you came home and told me some boys were bothering you.  They were asking you if you’re a goody goody.  You said you smiled and told them to “shoo”.  You said they meant no harm.  I’m glad.  You’re probably right.  Boys can be super weird.

I have been thinking about your story.  I think it’s funny how people say, “history repeats itself.”  I think they might say that, because it’s true.  The things that you are going through, have been gone through before. By by people like me.

I was also called a goody goody by boys.  When I was a little older than you (14), I remember being at a party.  Not a crazy, wild beer party.  Just a bunch of kids hanging out in the same place.  At one point in this party, I was alone with a bunch of older football players.  I was a freshman.  We were laughing and having fun.  These older boys seemed to really be enjoying my jokes.  I won’t lie, I didn’t hate the attention.

At some point during the fun, one of the boys pulled out a  bottle of whiskey.  The boys asked me if I’d drink the whiskey with them.  Now, I can’t remember the exact words I said , but I do remember responding with something like, “It will be a cold day in Hell before I drink a bottle of whiskey with a bunch of older boys.  I AM 14!”

I guess I wasn’t THAT big of a goody goody.  I cussed.  I’m sorry.  I did.

Even though that was  a great  idea those boys had, and I’m sure it would have been a lot of fun, I  just couldn’t shake the feeling that the boys would have come out better on the other side of that great idea than I would have.  I had this nagging feeling that those boys didn’t have my best interests at heart.

After I declined the boys’  generous whiskey offer, they told me I was a goody goody.  They didn’t think I was funny any more.  I’m pretty sure I never held their interest again.

Do you think I feel badly that those boys decided they didn’t like me?  Maybe I did a little back then.  Mostly I felt good.  Like you do when you know you did the right thing.

Do you know how MANY things happened to me in my 14th year?  So.Many.Things. I wish I could remember them all.  I can’t.  Don’t you think it’s weird, that this one thing that happened is something I  remember?  I think I know why.  This moment was one of those moments you get in life that help define you.  This moment was an unexpected, unplanned series of events that put me in a situation where I had to decide whether to impress and be liked, or to choose what was best for me.  I had to use some courage.

This is a story I wanted you to know.  You are standing at the gateway of  what could be some of the most fun you’ll have in your life.  There won’t be another time in your life when your main priorities should be to try new things and  have fun. I want you to come out on the other side of your teenage years with good memories, a clear conscience and the start of an understanding of who God made you to be on Earth.

I see already  that one thing God gave you  is a strong mind. I thank Him for that.  I see you making decisions that you feel are right for you.  That makes me happy.  I hope you never come to a moment where you make a decision to please someone else, even while you’re knowing it’s not right for you. You might do that. I have.  If you do, remember grace.  God has plenty.  Every moment is a chance to start over.

I wanted you to know that being a goody goody is okay.  It takes confidence and strength to be a goody goody. Strength and confidence are attributes that become more natural for you the more you use them.  They are attributes that will serve you well and help you live a good life.  Not everyone does.

Sometimes people favor you only when you follow their lead.  I want you to be okay with falling out of people’s favor.

I want you to know your mind. I want you to like the person God made you to be, and not try to be something else. I want you to do all that and also be humble and kind.  That’s it.  That’s all I want for you.  Just the world. I’m kidding you now, daughter.  I can’t give you the world.  I don’t know that it would be good for you to have it.

We are on this journey together; I want to point out the tricky spots that I’ve passed by before.  Maybe you will hear me and those spots won’t be as tricky for you.  That’s what I was hoping.

Mother-Daughter-Magic

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How to Raise Unspoiled Americans: You Can’t

This past weekend we had a Saturday with nothing scheduled. My daughter and I were home alone. On Friday night I was a little giddy with the anticipation of unscheduled time ahead. I got carried away and made the mistake of telling my daughter that maybe we could go shopping the next day, but then we didn’t.

You DON’T do that. You don’t mention the possibility of shopping to an almost 13-year-old girl, and then not go shopping. That’s like telling a heroin addict you’ve got heroin, but you’ve decided not to give it to them. Those jokers will shoot you down.

I woke up on Saturday and it was sunny. Sunny enough for me to see we were living in a sticky, ratty raccoon’s nest. I just picture raccoon as not being very good housekeepers . I’m not sure they deserve that.

I needed to clean. My daughter needed to help. That’s fun news to break to your almost-13-year-old daughter. I wish you could have been there.

“Ahh, good morning, Sweetheart. I am sorry, but I decided that we are NOT going to go shopping after all. The good news is that you DO get to scrub the toilets.”

I like my daughter. For real. I’m sad for her that she does not have any sisters, but happy for me. She’s my best friend. We have tons of fun together. I have told Scott that I think we won the baby girl jack pot when she was born. She’s nice. She likes to follow the rules. She’s not very sassy, and she seems to have a pretty soft heart. But, she is almost 13. Sometimes she can act like it. Sometimes almost 13-year-olds can act like sweet, precious, fuzzy little hellcats. Especially when you back out on their shopping trips.

That morning I started to think about all the shopping trips my daughter has taken. She has friends who’s mothers are saints. I.AM.NOT.KIDDING.YOU.SAINTS. These women have demanding jobs, busy husbands, multiple, busy children AND they take their daughter and her friends to the mall to browse around all day. They all walk around looking for bargains. These moms usually spring for ice cream, or some other fun treat. My daughter adores these moms. I do too.

So far, Scott has hosted one of these mall browsing outings for the girls, but I have stayed away from it. It sounds just so painful. I’ve told my daughter and her friends, “Listen, I don’t think I can actually take you to the mall all day, but we COULD do something more fun; like run over my foot with the minivan.” No takers so far.

Let’s be truthful with each other. I’m not staying away from the mall because I’m standing on moral high ground. I’m staying away because it sounds super boring. I’m selfish. That’s it.

But I do have to wonder what my daughter needs at the mall. What do I need at the mall? Both of our closets are full. Do we need shoes so that we don’t have to go barefoot to school and work? No. We probably have 40 pairs of shoes between the two of us. Do we need belts to hold our pants up while we work? No. We probably have 20 belts, and we don’t do really hard work. Do we need coats to keep us warm? Nope. There are dozens and dozens of those in our house.

I tried cheering my daughter up on Saturday with a little mini sermon. She really looked that gift horse in the mouth. I tried explaining to her that like many Americans, we misuse the word “need” every day. We do not know what “need” means, because every day when we wake up in a warm house, with food to eat, clothes to wear, school to attend and freedom to say what we want and to worship whom we please, all our needs are met.

When all our basic needs are met, we make up new ones. We say, “I need another pair of leggings; I need a new hair cut; I need a new painting for that wall.” We add layer after layer of things around us. All of our stuff surrounds us. All of our stuff is insulation that protects us from ever having to feel the pain of a real need. If we don’t ever have to experience real need, then we can’t help being spoiled. It isn’t really even our choice. It’s geography. It is cause and effect. But we can at least acknowledge we are spoiled. We can do that much, right?

My daughter broke in right about there and said, “I’m going to go clean the toilets.”

I think I totally inspired her. I know it wasn’t because she just wanted me to stop talking. There is no way an almost 13-year-old would do that.

I’m being a little silly. This video is not silly. It’s sad. I found it on a blog I like to read:

http://stuffchristianslike.net/2014/03/07/civil-war-london/

I pray for peace.

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