Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"What are you doing with the gardens entrusted to you?"

My lovely, kind, bright beautiful daughter is lucky enough to attend horse camp this week. Daisy loves animals. They calm her. She feels confident around them. She absolutely shines when caring for animals. They love her too. The horse she has for this week is named Maggie. The smallest one there to match her tiny size. Daisy is in love with Maggie and it is reciprocated. I have never seen her so animated or her smile beam as brightly as I have when I've picked her up each day this week. She finds it hard to leave. Just this simple pleasure of hers brings tears to my eyes and for some reason makes me feel so…proud.
We are not alike and this can make for a rocky relationship at times.
My daughter is not me. She is not my second chance to do everything I wish I had done and wish I had accomplished in childhood. I am embarrassed to say that this has taken me awhile to figure this out.
I loved school. She does not. I loved to read books. She does not. She loves animals and horses. I do not. She is an artist. I am not.
I see now with such clarity how she looks to me as an example. How much she needs me to approve and accept her as she is. I have struggled with this and I am ashamed. The love has never been in question, the nurturing, and the desire to give her the tools to live a happy life. But still I think I was trying, not consciously, to change her.
I realize now that I am a perfectionist and she is perfect just the way she is.


OHmommy said...

Lovely post.

I am not an animal person either. Ewwwww.... is what I say every time I step foot into our horse camp this week.

But I love that my children have the opportunities to do the things I didn't get to. I love seeing them develop and turn into their own person.

This is such an awesome part of parenting. Seeing a little human evolve into a confident person with likes and dislikes,

Great post,

LaskiGal said...

By simply accepting who she is and what she is all about, you have given her the very best part of yourself.

She'll forever thank you for not only loving who she is, but also loving her for who she is not.

You've shown her that she can be herself . . . and she'll carry that with her forever and beyond.

LceeL said...

I am so glad you discovered that now. NOW. When you still have time to construct a long term, good relationship with her. Good for you Eve. That took courage.

Dapoppins said...

What a great post!

anti-supermom said...

I think that what is wonderful about parenting is learning that those differences are what we hold dearly and love so much about our relationships, which usually pull us apart in the younger years will make us stronger as adults and your adult children. Well written.

Thanks for the note about my surrogacy. I'm not a beautiful writer, but I happy to share with you.

Beth said...

will you be MY mom too? Oh how I wanted a mother like you.....your daughter is lucky to have you.

neutron said...

Eve, this post really hits home with me. From the perspective of one who's parents tried to change everything about him, I can honestly say that a lot of the stuff my parents tried imposing on me did have merit and was good.

I guess what I'm trying to say is ... don't go extreme. Totally hands off can be as bad as control freak. And although the two of you may be very different, you do have a lot in common and she has much to learn from you (and each other).

Indy said...

So true. Before I had kids, I just thought you had to expose children to your likes and bam! they take to them. My kids are so different than me. Thank goodness. Great post.

Zip n Tizzy said...

Beautifully stated.
I think moms and daughters (and fathers and sons) in particular struggle with this. Especially when, as it seems from your pictures, they look alike.
I am now a firm believer in nature over nurture. We can support who they are, but they're born that way, and all we can do is accept them and love them.
Sounds like you're doing a great job of doing that, and her joy this week is a real reflection of that.

Manager Mom said...

Your post was a lovely reminder that there comes a point in our kids lives where we have to let them go forth into the world as the people that they are, not the people we think they should be.

I can tell you are a fantastic mom.