Monday, March 4, 2019

The Woman in the Back Seat

Not being raised with sisters, I feel like I missed out on some life skills when it comes to dealing with other girls.  Having a daughter makes it more complicated sometimes. She's smart and funny, excited about everything, but then her feelings (good and bad) are as big as mine some days.  I'm not skilled at handling my own emotions so adding hers to this mix is overwhelming sometimes.  And then there is the talking.  Same deal - I need to talk way more than I get to, but somehow I'm supposed to listen to her story about that one time we went to Target and the bird was eating a donut?  She is hilarious, but I'm trying to exist a little bit over here!

I'm sure there is an element of strong-willed women having strong-willed daughters that makes this extra-charged, but the point I'm making is that it is so easy to be in the habit of being frustrated with her.  Truth be told, the frustration has more to do with me than with her.  And THAT is frustrating!

Lately, I'll glance at her in the backseat and just marvel at how beautiful she is.  I can almost see the 17 year old beauty of the future sitting there, flashing that smile saying, "I know, Mom!"  And then of course, I want to cry and panic at the same time because I'm not ready for that woman! Truth is, maybe I'll never be, but I'm certainly not ready yet. 

I do think that considering that woman in the backseat is something I need to be doing.  It's so easy to see the 5 year old with all her 5 year old ways and only focus on that.  Realizing that this same 5 year old, with the Lord's blessing, will be making life choices one day about who she spends her time with, wedding reception items, pregnancy plans, any number of adult choices.  That woman could be judging me with the same kind of judgement I bring on her.  What kind of woman do I hope her to be?  I have some influence over that right now that is only here for a limited amount of time. 

It is hard to appreciate your blessings sometimes because there are always struggles attached.  I am so honored to have three healthy, smart children - when so many are not given that privilege - but I also experience isolation, exhaustion, and overwhelming feelings of failure.  We all need help to better appreciate our blessings.  I'm praying that woman in the back seat will be a constant reminder for me.

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