Thursday, October 22, 2015

the ultimate gift

Looking over my Instagram (@sarahyher) feed, I see that my last few posts have been about my daughter, Madeline. I can't deny that I talk about her a lot. I do. I think she's one of God's greatest creations, one that brings me so much joy and keeps me in wonder.

More often than I not I beat myself up for letting her watch a movie...or two...just so I can watch an episode (or two) of my own shows. Especially as of late, as we prepare to move, it's been hard not to let everything slide and just watch movies all day. I've been slacking with formal, structured teaching (we're supposed to be learning shapes) and seeing where informal, freelance learning takes us. Definitely not as far, but who's to say I'm measuring what really counts (a completely different issue I have)?

The point is this: when I look at Madeline, I see my perfect, darling little girl. I see my fierce baby lion who could take all the zoos in the world by storm--twice over . I see my daring princess who would venture out to find and ride dragons. I know she's not perfect--she just bit me the other day--but she's undoubtedly my little gift from heaven, so precious.

And then there's me. Her surely less-than-perfect mom who's often short-tempered and busy with adult things. Who can easily miss out on the thrills of being a two-year-old. More often than not I feel unworthy to be her mom. And this is where the beating myself up starts: I don't deserve a blessing like her.

I'm slowly coming to understand that I'll never deserve her and that I'll never be the perfect mom for her like I want to be. Moms like that have never been and will never be. There are so many things and experiences I want to give her. Recently, though, I've decided that there's really only one thing, one experience, I want to give her: My best as best as I know how.

To live in each moment with her. To laugh like a maniac with her. To cry over missing socks with her. To dance over the first snowfall of the season with her. To gasp in wonder at the stars with her. To love her well so that when her journey takes her far from me, I will be at peace knowing I loved her as best as I knew how.

Madeline, dear, my hope is that you will stay fearless, conquer as much of the world as you can, and let your wild spirit take you to extraordinary places. My hope is that you will live with all of your heart and strength, that when you look back one day when you're old and gray, you wouldn't want to do anything differently.