I look at my little girl, who is now three years old, and I can’t help but marvel at how fast time is flying by. My daughter is getting big. She is a very happy and healthy preschooler. She has not a care in the world. My husband and I are lucky that we can provide her with all of her needs. For that fact, I am very grateful.
So the other day, after I told my daughter she couldn’t go outside without shoes on, you can imagine my surprise when she shouted in response, “This is the worst weekend of my ENTIRE life!” As she stormed off, the spirit of my great-grandmother, who raised 13 children on a dime, came over me. I shouted back at her, “MAY this be the worst weekend of your ENTIRE life young lady. You should be so lucky!”
Shockingly enough, my passionate rebuttal had no impact on my three year old. She had no clue what I was talking about. I immediately made a mental note to save this type of argument for her teenage years. All my daughter knew was that she was exhausted and I was putting a damper on her attempt to play outside. Did I mention she is only three? I often forget that, especially when she turns into an Emmy-nominated soap star.
This exchange my daughter and I had led me to think about her teenage years and beyond. Right now my daughter is happy and has everything she needs in life. As we all know, life inevitably gets hard. Problems cannot be solved with the putting on of shoes or a nap. We all have a journey set forth for us that will have difficult roads. I know I will not always be able to be there for my daughter and there are roads she will have to walk alone.
Unlike teaching her how to say the alphabet or count to ten, there are harder lessons in life she will have to learn herself. I know that I will try to impart these pieces of wisdom, but she will not be able to grasp them until she can put it into context within her heart and soul.
Lessons For My Daughter:
1. You are much more vulnerable than you ever imagined.
2. You can feel alone in the most familiar of crowds and yet, you can feel comforted with kind words from a stranger who has walked in your shoes.
3. You can start laughing in the middle of crying, and cry in the midst of laughter. Both are okay.
4. Time does heal a wound, but the scar–though it may fade–will be there forever and may twinge on gloomy days.
5. Suffering can make you bend until you break. Love, faith and hope can eventually mend the pieces back together if you let them.
6. Fun, laughter, singing, dancing, a good book or movie can be a non-addictive painkiller or sedative to help you cope.
7. There is always someone who has it worse and there is always at least one thing to be grateful for.
8. Your true friends will love you when your sad, traumatized, despondent and in crisis mode. They will be there for you when and however you need them; when you are ready. And you will be there for them.
9. You can only do your best.
10. You are so much stronger than you ever imagined.
I love my daughter more than life itself. I will spend the rest of my days loving her and trying to make sure she is happy, all the while trying to spare her from life’s pain and hardships. I will only succeed at loving her though.
My daughter has her own journey which will certainly have its’ difficult paths, some of which she will have to walk alone. My prayer is that when she is legitimately having the “worst weekend of her entire life,” she learns her life lessons and comes out with grace and strength.