Thursday, September 26, 2013

What I Want for my Daughter...

I'm 8 months pregnant and officially the size of a small solar system. I'm on disability and home every day so I have A LOT of time to notice my ginmrmous belly and wonder how much bigger it can possibly get. I'm also finding myself becoming more and more connected to my baby girl, Avery. She moves around and kicks like it's her job! I have moments of finding myself saying aloud, "Avery, that was hard on Mama. Take it down a notch". She doesn't seem to listen:) I find myself talking to her aloud here and there while I'm alone and doing things around the apartment or driving my car. Just little things like, "Mama is crazy, isn't she?" I made a playlist on my phone of lullaby songs combined with sweet love songs that I want her to know and I play the playlist often. I'm hoping she knows the songs when she's out here in the world and is comforted when I play them. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mama. What I hope to be like. I What I want to teach Avery and I constantly wonder who she will be. I've narrowed down to seven most important things I want to teach her and model for her:
#1.) Most importantly, I want her to be kind. I want to teach her to be kind to others. I want her to notice the kids on the playground that are alone and don't have anyone and go talk to them. I want her to comfort her friends when they are sad and to smile sweetly at those around her. I want her to be the opposite of a diva, basically. I see those awful baby onesies that say stupid things like, "Diva" and "Born to shop" and I think, why on earth would I want my precious little girl advertising that? I want her to love on others and I know that will only occur through my example. Gulp. #2.) I want her to know she is loved and to feel special. I want her to know that her parents are her biggest fan and that we think she is just the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have thought about having little girls since I was a little girl myself and I've often thought about what things I would say to my girl(s) so they know how crazy I am about them. One of my favorite movies is "Hope Floats" and mostly because I love seeing Sandra Bullock's character learning to be a great mama. She messes up at times but her heart is in the right place and she tries so hard to show her daughter that she's special. My favorite part: "You know, I always thought I was gonna be, I don't know, special. But I'm not. I'm just... I'm just an ordinary person. And that's OK. Because... you make me special. Don't you know that? Don't you know that you're everything in this world to me? And we're gonna make it through this because we are a team. Birdee and Bernice, the coolest chicks in Smithville. So don't you ever think about leaving me again... because I need you. I love you." #3.) I want her to love God. I don't want her to be religious or spiritual necessarily. I don't care if she knows all the right Bible verses or Bible trivia like I did as a child. I want her to LOVE Jesus. To know that He loves her and love Him back. That's really it. The rest is just the product of that love. #4.) I want her to be strong and confidant. I've always been strong I think. I haven't always been confidant. I think it's "normal" as females to go through stages of this. But all in all, even when she goes through those awkward stages we all go through or gets hurt by a boy, or makes some big mistakes, I want her to be strong and believe in herself. I think this comes from a lot of love, support, and challenging her as parents. I don't necessarily want to instill straight up feminism, but...well I guess I do. I want her to know she is capable of being whoever she wants to be and to know that all it takes is hard work to get to wherever she wants to go. I want her to be selective with boys and to know when she deserves better. I want her to never feel inferior to a man or even to another woman. I want her to be brave. I want her to believe she is capable of being someone important. You get it... #5.) I want her to make mistakes-and learn from them. I'm the middle child and my experiences growing up are completely different from my other four sisters. We have the same parents and lived in the same house but if we told you our stories growing up, you would think we were raised on different planets. My experience was that I was a good kid with a good heart who wanted to do the "right" thing but wasn't a total robot. I had good friends that kept me grounded and I think that was huge. My parents wouldn't let me have a boyfriend until I was 16 but I did anyway. I know, such a rebel. I made out with him and fought with him and exchanged "I love you's" and was totally blind to the fact that he was clearly cheating on me. I fought with friends and liked boys that didn't deserve to be liked. I dreamed of going away to college but didn't because of a boy. I didn't make any HUGE mistakes in high school. I saved those for adulthood:) I would say my greatest mistakes have been giving too much of myself to guys that did't deserve it. I longed to be loved and to find "the one" and got really hurt and lost in the process. I hurt not only myself but others as well. I didn't listen to that voice inside that told me to stop and made some really stupid choices. But I will say this, I have very few regrets. I am thankful for the experiences because they shaped me into who I am. It will hurt me to watch Avery make poor choices and get hurt but at the end of the day, I will be thankful for those mistakes as well because hopefully they will shape her and make her even stronger. #6.) I want her to decide for herself who she will be and what she believes. I will instill my values and my morals in her from the very beginning. I will model what I think a loving, good, and strong woman looks like. But as Avery grows, I want her to find these things on her own. I hope that she loves God but not because I do. Because she finds Him on her own and finds that she needs Him. I want her to decide what kind of man (or woman) she will end up with. I want her to decide her own career. I want her to have her own style and her own interests. I don't want to force things on her or ever make her feel like she has to be a certain person to make me happy. I want her to be HER. Whatever that is. #7.) I want for her to not get married until she is at least 25. Now this sort of contradicts my desire for her to be herself and decide things on her own. If I truly want her to be an individual with her own mind than of course, I can't stop her from getting married at the ripe age of 23 like I did or God forbid, 19 like some people I know. So while I want to trust that she will make the right decision, I really, really, really, really, really want her to wait to get married. I know my experience is mine and some of my closest friends got married very young and they are still happily married. But all in all, I don't want that for her. I want her to form who she is before settling down. I don't want her identity to be defined by her relationship. I don't want her to get hurt and later down the road recognize that she doesn't even know who she is anymore. I don't want her to go through divorce like I did. I don't want...her to hurt. I want for her to go to college wherever she wants to go and travel if she wants. I want her to date a lot so she gets lots of experiences with all different sorts of people. I want her to develop her own goals, mind, beliefs, identity, and then-then when she is more developed, fall in love and then make that commitment. If my parents had forbade me from getting married so young I sadly wonder if I would have rebelled and done it anyway. I won't tell her she can't. But I will tell her about my experiences and instill in her that she is her own person who is strong and able to take on the world and I hope, I hope...that results in not getting married too young. Sigh.
I just want my little girl to make a positive impact on this earth. There's so much ugliness out there and so much pain and people are so lost and angry. I just want her to add somehow to the good in the world. I want her to make some small or large dent in making the world better and lessening the burdens of others. I can't wait to meet her and I know I will fail as a mother over and over. We all do. But I won't give up. I will love her unconditionally and be her cheerleader as she develops into the woman she is meant to be.

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