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Growing up

October 15, 2007

I hugged and kissed my daughter goodbye this morning at school and watched her walk away, hoisting up her faux cheetah purse on her shoulder as she walked.

Her dad had forgotten her backpack, so her purse was all she had. She was completely fine with this.

I wish I could have captured that moment for you as she walked away, pulling the purse strap onto her shoulder — doing that little thing we women do with our shoulders as we hoist.

She’s growing up so fast.

It was her birthday over the weekend, and I’m feeling reflective.

I do love her so and hope she’ll forgive us for being very real, very imperfect parents.

From the archives, one (or four) of my favorite pictures of her as a little one, with my apologies for the terrible scanning. I simply must get a new one, but this will have to do for now.

These were the days (especially in the last photo) when the Princess Fairy would leave an Andes mint on her pillow every night and call at 8:30 to let her know it was time to go to bed.

Listening to us was sacrilege. Listening to the Princess Fairy was imperative.

I would give my life for this child.

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23 comments

  1. Beautiful pictures.. and of course she will forgive your imperfections as parents. We all do that eventually when we come to understand that our parents are, after all, just people. πŸ™‚

    Peace,

    ~Chani


  2. I think we all give great chunks of our lives to our children – willingly and with great love. And yet, you never feel you’ve lost anything by doing so. It’s all gain, all reward.
    Love the picture with that hat!


  3. Oh, she’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing these photos and your feelings about being a mom here. We can and do give our lives for our children and I’ve never felt anything compared to the love for my children — it’s the one truly great thing I’ve done in my life and that is being a mother.

    Much peace to you all today and every day.

    ~ RubyShooZ ~


  4. Adorable pictures and a very pretty little girl. Of course, she comes by the pretty part naturally. You can’t fool ‘Mother Genetics.’ A sweet and loving piece. Only problem was, it made me miss my stepdaughter again, even though she’s now 27, so long past little girl stage.


  5. Thank you, Chani. I hope so. I’m still pretty rough on my parents, so I can only imagine what kind of karma I’m creating! Time to start forgiving, apparently! πŸ™‚

    Beth ~ Thank you. I know I will feel that way later, but sometimes I think that this job has been too much for me. It’s definitely humbled me; that’s for sure.

    Ruby ~ Thank you. What a sweetheart you are to say so. She’s amazing. I know that in all circumstances I have done the best with what I had. Apparently I love guilt, though, because I usually feel like my best hasn’t been enough. But when I see her smile and listen to her talk, I know it has. Hopefully I will tire of this urge I have to make her life more perfect. Such a burden!

    Ian ~ You are too kind. My heart hurts for you and the loss of your step daughter. Is there no chance of a meeting? I’m such a romantic that way. I know that our urges don’t always (or sometimes even usually) have to do with the actual people we’re longing for, but in this case, maybe she is the only one who can fill that place. I will hold that thought in my heart for you and wish you an abundance of peace and healing. Kind regards always, Angie Beth


  6. You’re a dear, you are, you are. Actually, a few months ago we actually emailed each other. That was the best breakthrough in the last decade.


  7. she is absolutely preshus! I know how you feel. My son is aging faster and faster. It is both a bitter sweet feeling to see him come into his own and have to let go at the same time.


  8. Ian ~ I’m so glad to hear it. What’s that line about baby steps in “What About Bob”? Here’s hoping that your hearts desire comes to you and/or that you have the courage to go to it.

    Meleah ~ Thank you so much! “Bittersweet” is a wonderful word for it. It’s hard to describe, but I appreciate it when others are feeling something similar.


  9. What a cutie patootie. Of course she’ll forgive you. She has to. She’s going to end up being just like you!! All kids want to know they were loved and their parents, no matter how shitty, did the best they could at the time. You are doing better then that!!


  10. Thanks, Pool. I hope so. We’ll see. I think it depends on how cool I am when she gets old enough to realize how imperfect I am. Will I listen or be stubborn? My choice. Hopefully I already know which one I will choose/am choosing.


  11. She is precious, especially in that hat. I hope our children forgive us our imperfect parenting. I’ve made some real blunders over the lsat 20 years.
    V.


  12. V. ~ Thank you so much. I love that photo of her in the hat. She’s such a hoot. (Sometimes too much of a hoot, but when we’re not together I can just revel in the beauty and uniqueness that is *her* instead of fighting with her about whether or not I am going to purchase some goo thing she wants — along with her fairly expensive halloween costume — because she wants the goo thing *now* dammit and isn’t that what mothers are for — to order around and make demands of, especially the day after receiving FAR too many birthday presents?!) Whew. Thanks for that. That felt good. πŸ˜‰


  13. so cute! i’ve not got kids yet but when I do have them, that day will come with the first day going to school thing. J has already said she’s probably going to be balling her eyes out. Then she says that I’ll probably have to send her off because she’ll be in school (J’s a school teacher). Oh yeah, nothing like leaving me with that moment alone. hmmm.

    imperfections — don’t we all have them … what’s different with a kid? they maybe play out their imperfections more as we are probably keeping an eyet on them and it somehow seems more appearent πŸ™‚

    regardless of what they do, we’ll always love the kids we bring into this world, yes?


  14. Hi Foo! Thank you. Enlist help. That’s my recommendation. Or just know that you’re going to cry and be okay with it. πŸ˜‰

    If my daughter grows up and is able to see through and past my imperfections and many mistakes, I’ll be happy. Her imperfections are real (as all of ours are). It’s *my* imperfections I worry about . . . πŸ˜‰ Forgiving others isn’t really my problem. Forgiving myself? That’s another issue entirely. Happy Wednesday, Foo!


  15. She is so beautiful and she will forgive you. Mine has and she is 22 now. There are times when it has been hard for me to forgive myself, but I have. She’s proof that I did okay. We have always had a very close relationship which sometimes I think might have been a problem in my ex-marraige. But we do give our lives in so many ways. My daughter asked me one time did I wish I had not had her. After feeling the shock of the question I asked her why she was asking. She said that it would have been easier on me as a single person. I told her, though that might be true that I chose to have her and it was my responsibility to be the best mom I could be, and I did it willingly with love. I made sure she understood that when I couldn’t do things becuase I had her or took jobs that maybe paid less but allowed me to keep her with me, I didn’t sit around and think “This is all your fault.”. The thoughts just don’t enter my mind. It is what it is and I wouldn’t change it for anything!


  16. Thanks, LC. I hope so. I feel the same way, that when I look at her and her vibrancy that I must have done *something* right. πŸ™‚ I love it that your daughter was able to voice those deeper feelings. So many of us want to know the answer to that question and get reassurance but are too afraid to ask for fear of the answer. My mother told me recently that she was on the verge of divorcing my father when she found out she was pregnant with me. It wounded me deeply because I think my mother’s life has been less than it could have been because she decided to stay with my dad, who didn’t always treat her as well as she deserved and was lost in his own personal depression and pain.

    Having this experience with my daughter has been the deepest blessing I have ever known. For all it’s quirks and stresses, I definitely wouldn’t change the experience.


  17. Ah, well, you already know we have such similar views on this one. And isn’t it both a joy and a heart-ache to watch them groing up?


  18. Yes, you are my soul sister, C. It runs the gamut — that’s for sure. So much love; so much ache. But yes, as with the others, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My life is richer because she has graced my life with her presence.


  19. I’m glad you can see those things in her and it will only get better. Take care – L


  20. Thanks, Lara. She colors my world (and quite a few others’, as well). People watch her and love her spunk and spirit, her freedom to be herself, her unique take on the world. She is honest. I love that about her and hope that she will always hold on to that. She is truly my greatest blessing.


  21. @Ang
    Probably will be tearing. I’m not one of those guys afraid to tear supposedly showing lack of masculinity. i’m kind of like you with the not forgiving thing too but i kind of combat it by making sure that the mistakes i made is corrected and never done again… in that way, i kind of move on. anyway, think number 42 and what i said πŸ™‚ … new life, new beginning, all is forgiven.


  22. Hi Foo ~ Those are good tears. And, for the record, I completely agree that tears somehow signify that a man is less masculine. I married a man’s man, and every time I see him tear up, my heart swells up like a balloon (usually in a good way). It’s a good thing when a heart overflows so much that it becomes tears.

    I’ve also really embraced my 42 since our talk. I’m so glad you’re here!!! Thank you for your encouragement along the way. You are true blue, foo. πŸ˜‰


  23. btw: here is a happy stamp you might like — uploaded it to my flickr couple of days ago. πŸ™‚

    Happiness



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