Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In My Daughter's Eyes

At 9 1/2 things are just beginning to change with my Jayla. We spend our days together, so it's subtle, like any shift that happens gradually, so closely to our eyes it can be difficult to discern....until it is all at once astonishingly clear. I detect it mostly in the little the way she watches how I behave toward her dad, with my friends, with the other children, if I tell 'white' lies or am completely truthful. Or, in how she tries to absorb tension when she realizes I am beginning to become stressed. In how she will express disappointment when she sees that my priorities are off kilter. She is still playful and full of energy, but it's not quite the same as when she was younger. Perhaps it's more restrained, more calculated? I'm not exactly sure how, it's just different. When she was little, my presence alone could inspire wide eyed awe struck wonder and abounding affection. It was as if we were one. I was her mommy and she my baby. In her eyes, my image was sturdy, invincible, untoppable.

My sweet girl is letting on, that's no longer the case.

Now, she expects more from me. She is learning how to negotiate matters that are more complex in nature - with peers, with her siblings, with boys. Oh dear. With boys. She's got issues to face at this stage of her life that are much more challenging, and with greater consequence than how to arrange her baby doll collection on her bed or what pajamas to wear when she gets out of the bath. She's discovering what kind of person she is, who she wants to be. She's got stuff to figure out and she hopes to see, live and in action, a woman conducting the affairs of her life in a manner she can emulate. I can feel it, she longs for me to be a mentor to her. Full of human frailty and fault, it pains me to think of the times that I'm not. She desperately wants to trust me to guide her. And yet, she is smart enough to determine if I'm worthy of that role in her life. If I'm not, I am certain, she will inevitably look elsewhere.

I understand, I too want to be inspired.

As we enter this new phase, I pray for wisdom to handle her tender heart with care, that I may know when to admonish and when to comfort, when to support her choices and when to encourage different ones, when to spare her and when to let life's lessons painfully teach, when to step in and when to step back. I ask for strength to really grow up and be the kind of woman she would like to become one day . One who is full of grace and mercy and kindness and humility, yet strong and courageous and committed enough to do what is right, even when it's very hard and the stakes are very high. Someone she is proud and pleased to call her mother.

This parenting business is no small task. God be gracious to us moms and dads and to our dear daughters and sons....we need You.

Guess who Bobby and I are having dinner with tonight? ☺
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1 comment:

Stephanie Headley said...

She is growing up so much! She reminds me so much of you when I look at her! Spitting image of you at that age! Boy, we were cute back then, weren't we? I'm sure you are doing a great job! It's not until we are adults that we can TRULY appreciate our parents! I often hope my daughter appreciates me too, and sees through my faults! They are so precious, hopefully we can mold them into something even more precious and FANTASTIC!!

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