The last, lonely goose left this fall ... named Lily
Last week, we had the lil' dude's conferences for PreK. I'm the Mom who forgot to complete our child development form to bring with though, it just slipped my mind. I promise my kid had clean underwear on that day, and ate some form of breakfast during our commute, I just forgot to do my homework.
Her teacher asked The Dad and I what word best describes our daughter. Without hesitation I said, "Determined. For better and for worse." Her teacher wholeheartedly agreed. She commended us for realizing her determination has its negativities. Oh, sing it. I know it does. Just that very week, my blonde Sagittarius split both of her palms wide open in angry blisters as she once and for all mastered those pesky monkey bars at school. Seriously, open, gaping wounds we had to dress and redress, the four-year-old wincing through the process, begging to skip the peroxide.
Who does that?
My daughter, that's who. I've always said she's the perfect storm, who looks like Daddy and acts like Mama.
Last year at both sets of conferences, we were told the lil' dude needed to work on the simple process of things- sharing, taking turns, encouraging others, being patient. Not hoarding all the damned stuffed puppies I knew she'd lose her mind over. Of course, I wanted to speak right up and say, "But she's an only child ..." when in reality, that doesn't even matter an ounce. Her birthright doesn't mean she's prone to acting like a miniature jerk, nor does it mean she's entitled to act like a miniature jerk. It simply means she's a contributing member of society who needs to act accordingly.
Last week, during our conference, her teacher- the same, dear, sweet woman she had last year, remarked how different the lil' dude is 12 months later. That she has calmed down (say what?) and changed for the better. She tries everything. Says hi to everything. Trusts the process- trusts she'll get her turn, her chance, her freedom to politely decline the everythings she doesn't love. Listening to the praise of my daughter, I straightened my spine. Smiled a genuine, unsmug smile. Pride burned in my chest. Her teacher went on to say how the lil' dude is bit of a trendsetter in class (hear that, Auntie SG?) and doesn't seem to notice or care what others are doing around her. One day, she decided to decorate her cubby, asking her teachers to politely leave all the taped-up art intact. The other children noticed after a few beats of routine, and began decorating their own cubbies in a new vision days later.
Dude. Duuuuuude, I love being a Mama. Hashtag; pride.
I want to inject this story and that example into my veins for when she's 13 and a carbon clone of her Besties- dressing, talking, participating the exact same way as her impressionists. I'll have the same conversation with her my own Mama and Grandma had with me. Do your own thing, girl. People will love it, hate it, or not even notice. Set trends. Ask for forgiveness instead of permission. People who love and support you will continue to do so.
And yes, I'll even concede a little on having clones ... I had (have) a group of girls I'm crazy-proud to be compared to, and even prouder to point out and celebrate all our separate idiosyncrasies knitted together over 20+ years of friendship and connectivity. So yes. Have your gaggles, your flocks, your murders, your rafters, your paddles. But make sure each of your plumes are a different color.