Thursday, May 26, 2011

To My Daughter: The Teenager

Once upon a time, I was a wife and not a mother. It was only for a few months, but there we were, a couple of 20-somethings, living the high life of school and work. Okay, so perhaps not the high life. But we were young. We were in love. After years of living apart, we were finally together. It was more than enough.

And then one May morning at 5:13AM, all of that changed. My daughter came screaming into this world literally and figuratively and she changed everything I thought that I knew.

I thought I wanted to be childless. She showed me that I could love a child more than I love myself.

I thought that I should always try to have the last word. She showed me that sometimes I should shut up and listen.

I thought that I was done having dreams. She showed me that in order to teach her to dream big, I have to be willing to dream big.

I thought that my own insecurities about my looks were something I could keep hidden. She showed me that they matter, especially when someone says that we look alike.

I thought that I'd have to tone down my snarky sense of humor and be more appropriate. She showed me that she can snark with the best of them and that while appropriate has it's place, I can still be me, even as a mom.

I thought things like caring about social justice was the domain of adults. She showed me that there is no age limit on caring about the welfare of those in our community.

I thought that no one in my family would love Zelda as much as me. She showed me that geek runs deep with the women under our roof.

I thought that I could never possibly have the tools to lead a child into young adulthood. She showed me that she already has the tools, I just need to help her learn to use the ones that are unique to her.

I love you, kiddo. Happy birthday!


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