She is the daughter. I am the mother.
She teaches me. I teach her.
We both wear glasses, love to read, and love to write.
She writes stories. I write life lessons.
We are both, in different ways, learning to love ourselves and express our life desires, though on different levels.
I listen to her chat on about helping out with VBS at church. My quiet, shy little 12 year old is caught between her inner child who loves to imagine and play and laugh and be crafty and the blossoming young woman who has experienced far too many trials for her 12 years already. She is learning who she is. I am learning who I am.
How can a 12 year old and a 32 year old be learning the same lessons?
I thought about this much last evening, as I picked her up and listened to her talk about her nerves of stepping out of a comfort zone of quiet and into a zone of helping out in a room full of hyper kindergartners. I love watching my daughter grow into trying new activities outside of her typical zone. She is beginning to do what I want for her: she is beginning to try new things, open up herself, step out of her zone a little and grow.
"I'm sorry I'm so chatty, mommy. I just can't stop talking right now... I feel excited, mommy. I don't feel nervous anymore."
Those were her words to me on the way home last night.
"Are you kidding me? I love listening to you talk and see you excited, " I said. "I want to hear all about it...."
She is learning to try new activities, even if she is afraid.
I am learning it is better to try, to step out, and to fail, than to be too afraid to have tried at all.
2 lessons, 2 "girls", shaped in a different manner, but growing at the same time.
As she is growing and beginning to discover more of who she is and what she wants to be, I am doing the same. I have had countless conversations with her about accepting with who she is, that beauty is from within, that God has made her unique and special, as I do not want her to grow up with the insecure struggles that I, myself, have battled much on daily basis. That many of us women battle. In embracing those, she teaches me to practice what I, in essence, am striving to teach her.
She is caught between wanting to play and wanting to be older; I tell her you can grow into yourself and be who you are, and have a great imagination and use that as a gift, even as a "grown up". How do I know? Because at 32, I am finally embracing that.
I am caught between dreams and realities at times. What is right to pursue, what is right to abandon?
I sing and laugh and dance in my kitchen because I am enjoying the growth of life. I am not stifled by it; I am learning to embrace it. And that is beautiful. She plays her guitar, welcomes the new girl in church and pushes to become more involved. She is embracing her growth. She is teaching me without her even knowing it.
It is better to try and fail and know at least you gave it a shot, than to spend years wondering if it could have been....and who knows? That "try" could become a great success.
Like the success of starting a 5K and scholarship in memory of mom
Or like the fail of trying to plant flowers
Or like stepping out of my zone and moving into a new career
Or the fail of attempting to cook an amazing meal that looks good as a recipe but turns out as an utter fail and pizza gets ordered instead.
Or in her terms,
Like stepping out of the quiet zone to help with 15 hyper 5 yr olds
or trying out for student council, but not getting it.
Or learning to play the guitar but perhaps not mastering the singing aspect
She is 12. I am 32. But we are both navigating our way through change and growth and loving who we are as we grow.
She is the daughter. I am the mother.
She is quite honestly a spitting image of my mom at that age. I hope to become the beautiful woman my mom was, beginning from the inside.
She is 12. I am 32. And we are on the journey of a lifetime, growing, one day at a time. Different life lessons, and yet somehow holding a parallel.