Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Single Face in the Crowd

Dear Readers,

From the moment that my daughter has been born, it has been just the two of us.  Despite the fact that I was married, and my husband lived in the same house with us, he didn't really interact with us.  So, we gained a sense of mother-daughter camaraderie only seen in "Gilmore Girls" episodes.  I decided to just cement the distance between my husband and I, and my daughter and I moved out, that's when there was more pressure to really make things work.

When you're married, even if your spouse isn't reliable, there's still that notion of "I'm not doing this by myself" that cushions the blow when you're frustrated or overwhelmed.  Even if you don't ask your mate for help, and even if they don't offer it, it's almost like a sense of mind manipulation that you put on yourself to make you feel like you're not alone in the parenting pursuit.

But, when you go down the road of single parenthood, the harsh reality that you're going at things alone is even more palpable.  You can't afford to hide behind a veil of lies anymore.  You know that you're doing this alone.

That was when I found my hero.

People say that you shouldn't look up to someone who is younger than yourself, but I say screw them and their logic!  If there's someone that can help you to stay motivated in times of stress, show your strength when you're weak, or just stand when you want to lie down, it shouldn't matter how old they are.

As corny as this sounds, my hero became my daughter.

We were officially on our own on her 1st birthday, and through it all, she has been an unknowing example of perseverance.

My "Babycakes" (which, she is going to probably hate that nickname, but I love it anyway) will fall from a stool one minute, cry until the pain goes away, and then climb back up.  But, it's more than that, and the common cliche of "she taught me how to get back up when she fell down."  It's the idea that at this moment and time in her life, she is fearless, which is the complete opposite from me.

I think most toddlers are fearless, because they don't have the burden of knowledge.  They don't know that touching an iron that's on will burn them, or running and not looking ahead is a recipe for a face plant into a door frame.  Some children learn, some don't, but as you get older you try to use these past moments of painful teaching to shape your future decisions.

But, it's my daughter's resilience that impresses me the most.

I think about her when I make a mistake, and my immediate reaction is to recoil in embarrassment.  It's the example that she set that reminds me how important it is to ask for help if I need it, and that a skinned limb doesn't mean that I need to spend the rest of my life indoors.  It's the idea that a hula hoop can be a door, or the top of an ice cream cone, or anything else that my imagination can allow things to be.

She unknowingly taught me how to be stronger, fearless, resilient, and more imaginative.  Before her, I was too aware of how things could go wrong, and I would allow it to stop me.  Now, I still know about the results, but I press on toward my goals anyway.

When I finally reach a place that I want to be in life, I hope that she's able to be as inspired by me, as I have been by her.

Stay Encouraged      

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