Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Check up on a Check list.
It's not that I've learned it all. It's just that the older my daughter gets, the more I remember hard and/or valuable lessons I've learned along the way. Ones I wish I could peel her little hard head open and pour into her so she wouldn't have to bleed or cry or hurt to learn. I mean, I'm not saying I would wrap her in bubble wrap if I could. But I might be saying I would poke holes in the wrap in just the right places for her mouth and nose to be able to breathe. Is there something wrong with that?
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. That's what I know for sure. And lessons will be learned our whole lives. Some by the humility of taking advice from those around us with a few more miles on their odometer. Some by sheer ignorant decision making. And some by being so freaking hard headed, we wouldn't need a helmet in the NFL.
Every once in a while, I like to re-evaluate the lessons I want to teach my kids. I do this to keep my focus. But I also do this to remind myself that it's ok for our kids to hurt every once in a while. Because like it or not, sometimes pain is a sign of life. And sometimes pain is the only teacher we will listen to. Today, here's some lessons I have on my heart for Abi still to learn.
1- You won't be good at every thing you try to do, nor every thing you WANT to do. And you'll need people of brutal honesty to tell you that you suck at it so you won't look like a dingbat and waste valuable time and energy trying to make something fit that doesn't. Lucky for you, I'll tell you the truth. So call your mom alot.
2- Sometimes people are mean and you won't ever know why. But if you ask God to let you see with His eyes, He will show you the parts you need to see so you won't want to punch them in the face quite so badly.
3- Boys are not all bad. Some of them are terrible. And my job, along with your sweet daddy's, is to help you look past a boy's eyes and into his character. You are royalty. And you won't be allowed to associate with anything or anyone less than royalty. The end and you're welcome.
4- The other day when you ran into that boy in church and he dropped all his stuff on the ground, I saw the look on your face when you knelt down to help him pick it up immediately. And I saw you pat him on the shoulder, silently apologizing when yall stood back up. And in that moment, my heart almost burst with pride at the innate kindness inside you.
5- You're beautiful. You won't always feel beautiful. You'll feel fat, or ugly, or awkward, or undesirable. And to be honest, some days the mirror just doesn't lie. But emotions DO lie. Remain beautiful in your heart and you'll feel beautiful whether you have PMS or are having a skinny day.
6- Great marriages don't just happen. You don't fall in love and remain magically connected because you're "soul mates." Great marriages are a steady work of progress and alot of apologizing and changing. Fairy tales are sweet. But you don't live in a tower, have birds that sing to you, or own a pair of glass slippers. Your daddy isn't a king, your mom doesn't own a magic wand, and there is no handsome man living in the woods outside our home waiting to give you a rose as you walk through with your pet rabbit that talks. You'll meet a guy, you'll like him, he will like you, and real life will begin. And it won't be beautiful always. But it will end with a happily ever after if you follow the examples we have surrounded you with.
7- You will learn to make biscuits the way I make them, the way your Gia makes them, the way your great-grandma makes them, and her mom, and so on..., or you'll never get a driver's license. This is not negotiable.
8- Alot of your friends' moms will be more "progressively minded" than your mom. Your mom will always be the homemaker, the cook, the cleaner, the clothes shopper, the menu manager, the referee, the nurse, and the counselor of your home. And your mom is training you to be just as old school as she is.
9- Be quick to apologize. When you're wrong. Not when you're trying to just make peace. You're wise-- you're not a doormat.
10- You can't fathom this right now, but you will be best friends with your brother one day. The two of you will laugh at me behind my back and recount stories of my epic fails and epic embarrassments. He will need you. And you will need him. And no one on this planet will love you the way he does. Being kind to him now equals a foundation that a seismic earthquake cannot destroy.
11- You will cry alot in your life. Sometimes it won't make sense to anyone, even you, as to why you're crying. Go ahead and cry anyway. Like, boo-hoo and ruin your makeup if you need to. You'll be stronger for it and you can always put makeup back on.
12- Some things are not ok in the generic form. Like: Coca-Cola, toilet paper, permanent markers, and friends. Choose friends that are anything but generic. Because you become like who you hang around. And my dear, generic is not in one cell of your DNA. Stay name brand. You're the real deal.
13- I know you love people. You share your daddy's heart. But sometimes, you will just need to unplug from people and get them the heck out of your head. There's beauty in being alone. Alone is where you learn most about yourself.
14- Always leave a place in better condition than it was in when you arrived there. Or I will find you. And it won't be good.
15- If I ever have to show up somewhere (even if you're 30) and remind you of who you are and WHOSE you are, it won't be good.
16- If you have doubts about his character, he's not the one.
17- If you'd be embarrassed for your Paw to find you there, the answer is no.
18- Settle now in your little heart in these innocent days that some body parts are best left unseen (by everyone but one man). Make guys guess about you. Showing them everything before they deserve it is just sad. Be a woman of mystery. Make him earn every piece of your heart. And every piece of your body.
19- Standing at a ridiculous angle in front of a bathroom stall and sticking your butt out in ways normal people do not stand in every day life to get a picture to post on Facebook is not an option for you. You're showing your pretty face in a photo. Not your butt, your cleavage, or your legs. You're not a contortionist, so please stand straight. And if I ever see a toilet in the background, it won't be good. Be classy, for Heaven's sake.
20- We will continue to push you, demand excellence from you, expect kindness and manners from you, set firm boundaries for you, and make tough choices for you. We will not be friends with you, and will not treat you as the adult you are not.
21- You will know how to change a tire, check your oil, mow a yard, and use a tool box so that you will be capable until you find the man who will do that stuff for you.
22- You won't be able to dress like a hoochie until you're old enough to choose to do so yourself. And hopefully by then, we will have shown you how ridiculous it would be to do so.
23- All the little things I make you go back and re-do, like putting your shoes IN the basket instead of next to it, putting your bowl IN the sink instead of near it, and putting the couch cushions back in place instead of NEAR the couch are teaching you much more than housekeeping. I promise.
24- Sometimes, your heart will break so hard, you swear you'll never find all the slivers and pieces again. But you will. And even your darkest hour only has 60 minutes in it.
25- Love is hard to come by. If it's easy for you to say "I love you" to a boy, it's not love. It should make you so nervous, you swear you'll faint the minute it leaves your mouth. Because love is risky. It's sacred. And it's not found every day.
26- Sometimes, going to bed is like hitting the restart button because the day sucked so bad. Sometimes, a midday nap is the same thing.
27- I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stop believing in you. Even if you begged me to stop. Or spit in my face. Or turned your back on me. Or turned your back on Him. Or ran away from me as far as you could possibly run. My belief in you is based on the fact that I carried you, I bore you, and I see in you what you won't see in yourself for many years from now. I don't love you because I have to. I love you because you're as much a part of me as the breath in my lungs right this second. And you'll hate me, you'll avoid me, you'll wish anyone else on the planet was your mom but me. But I'm her. And you're mine. And if I could go back and choose to do one thing differently leading up to your conception, I would leave every single piece untouched. Because I needed you. And I will never stop loving you with a ferocious love that cares not if you love me back. I'm the most furious hurricane in your life, little mama. And you will never get a break from me.