The most fascinating thing about being a mom is watching personalities blossom. When both my babies were born, I fell immediately in love. I wasn’t sure what could top it. How could they possibly get any cuter than in that first 24 hours? What started out with unbelievably cute little everything, quickly turned into a robbery of the heart. First they coo, then they grasp your finger, open their eyes, lift their head up, smile, sit, say ‘Mommy,’ crawl, giggle, walk, talk, start pre-school… with every new change and stunt they learn I revert back to the same question. How could they possibly get any cuter? I knew my kids would change my life forever, but I never fathomed how much better life would be with them in it.
Back to personalities blossoming…
In the speed of light in which they are growing up, I’m often concerned that I’m not going to pick up on what my girls are passionate about in life and encourage them the right way in that direction. The fact that their little personalities are developing so fast freaks me out sometimes. I’m worried about them finding what they love to do in life, and going after it…instead of getting side tracked along the way (Jimmy Buffett was wrong…It’s always a boys fault.), or giving up before their dreams come to fruition. Seeing as they are three and one, I realize my anxiety might be a little premature. But (enter cliché…) they are growing up so fast! All of the sudden, these little peeps that were in my belly giving my ribs a workout from the inside, are sounding out words and singing the ABC song. I say it all the time. They change like I wish I could run…fast.
As a result of all of this ‘pondering what my kids future will be’ nonsense, I berate Brianne with questions all of the time.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
A puzzled three-year old looks at me like I’m crazy and says things like, “Brianne, Mom …I’m going to be Brianne.”
Then one morning, during the daily interrogation, she answered…“I want to be an animal doctor, Mommy.”
Makes sense. The girl’s been overly intrigued by animals instead of dolls from very early on …and we have a whole laundry basket full of her collectible animal figurines that each have their own names and personalities to show.
Could she already really know what she wants to do? Maybe. But the bigger victory is that she’s learned how to reach for something. Imagine what she’ll become. Realize that she can actually grow up to be the things she pretends to be when she’s playing. To have faith that dreams (to loosely quote Princess and the Frog …maturing, aren’t I?) do, in fact, come true with lofty goals and lots of hard work.
Mission accomplished. Two, actually. If I can keep her focused on what it takes to become an Animal Doctor at the Zoo …she’ll never have time for boys. (Yes, my fingers are crossed behind me back…. they’ve been picking out their husbands in pre-school …)
I can tell it’s going to be hard for me to let go one day. Thankfully, and God willing, I won’t have to for a long time yet. Or, maybe ..I’ll be one of the truly blessed Mom’s in life, and my daughter will want to be my BFF for the long haul. Is it selfish to pray for that? I hope not. Because, I do.
The Update …
Now getting ready to turn eleven …Brianne still wants to grow up and work with animals, and have a pet goat. I recently told her that the blue macaw had finally gone extinct …and her eyes welled up with tears.
I’ve learned a lot about letting go over the last decade. The sassier she gets with the onset of teenage wasteland, the easier it gets. Still, my eyes were the ones full of tears as I watched my daughter’s passion for dance fill our family room yesterday. It was one of those moments when everything logical I know about the passing of time seemed false. I vividly remember this forthright toddler boldly voicing her opinion of pre-school combo class at age 2, “I don’t very want to do the tapping and jazzing …I just want to ballet, mom.”
She has stuck out the journey, calls her dance teacher her second mom, and her friends there have become akin to family. Brianne is one step closer to the dream she has held onto since she was two: pointe shoes. I have no doubt she’ll cross Animal Doctor off of her list, too.
These days, when she hits an emotional rut and forgets who she is, I am there to remind her. I have a million stories like these, and though she will continue to grow in wisdom and strength, she will always be that forthright girl.
The stage of parenting I’m about to embark on is not nearly as hard as the one she’s about to live through …adolescence. Ugh. Who wishes that on anyone? God, in His infinite goodness, knew I would need the healing and encouraging words of my own writing …not only to remind my daughter who she is …but myself of the kind of mom I am.
Truly, He goes before me. He is good …all the time.
All the time …He is good.