I worry sometimes that I see too much of myself in her. No, that’s not right. I worry that I TRY to see myself in her.
She is so much stronger than I was. She is so much smarter than I was. She is stunning and hilarious and every inch of her tiny self is a fearless female.
My daughter is now 9-years old and so much more than a 3rd grader or a ‘kid.’ She is a confident young girl who already seems to know exactly what she wants for her life, and seems to be entirely unphased by any obstacles in her way.
The child hasn’t even hit double-digits and I already admire her.
I want to be her when I grow up.
I have no doubt she will make every single one of her dreams come true. None. Zero. The doubt just does not exist. In fact, she is so incredibly sure about everything she has made me a believer of every one of her goals and dreams-despite many of them involving unicorns and dragons.
There is an ongoing discussion in our home about how sometimes it can a bit hard to say ‘no’ to me. Often with others feeling it better to just let me have my way because it’s not worth the battle and it certainly isn’t worth what will no doubt be a full frontal assault on my part to wear you down with a merciless war that seems entirely unnecessary for, say, Thai instead of Italian food for dinner.
While that part of me has softened over the years and certainly with my illness, even at its height it seems to pale in comparison to my daughter’s capability in this field. However she does it with so much more class and composuer than I ever did or could. Make no mistake, I’m still the Queen and Mother around here and she has a ways to go before I will give up my thrown…but I’ve been watching this young artist at work lately. I wouldn’t dare call her a protege’, as I have done NOTHING to teach or guide her in this type of social interaction.
I’d like to think it’s genetic, but even then I think I’m fooling myself.
She’s going to conquer the world, rule with compassion and an iron fist, and do it all with sparkly cowgirl boots, rainbow embellished fingerless gloves, and the brightest and most obnoxiously patterned scarf tossed around her neck for flourish. None of it will match, but it will all look fabulous on her and only her. As only SHE can.
She has no desire to get married. She has absolutely no desire to have children. (Babies annoy her at best) She wants a ranch in the country with many animals as possible, and that goes double for all the ones her father and I will not allow her to currently have…and a runway for her brother to land his planes so he can visit often.
She’d like a lake or pond, where it seems she will allow her father and I to build a home on the other side and wave like good parents do over morning tea and the rippling waters on our end of her shore.
While I had many ideas for her birthday party this year, I’m sad to say I am not even up to snuff when it comes to party decorations. Her ‘kitten’ themed 9th birthday was only a success due to her superior planning, as I had failed her miserably by refusing to hang balls of yarn from our 300million foot ceilings so she and four cohort kittens cold ‘bat’ at them for hours on end.
Luckily her grandmother had chipped in and her Nana had chipped in – all much craftier than I. And with her usual flourish her friends had a great time.
The best part though, may have been just listening to her interact with the girls. She was leading the charge, mediating disputes, even comforting those a tad bit homesick. And even BETTER? As the night wore on and crankiness creeped into conversations inside of their sleeping bags, I could hear her tell them about how girls in other parts of the world live. She re-told what she had learned of Malala. She told them some girls are sold into trafficking to be slaves (she left out ‘sex’ – we previously discussed long ago some of her friends may not have been told by their parents yet exactly what ‘sex’ entails). She told them even in the ‘country we live in, girls don’t make as much money as boys, some American religions force them to dress to cover their entire bodies,’ and ‘do you know what is the worst? Some of the people here still think we should only be having babies and be wives. And I don’t want to have babies or anything! I want to have my own life anyway I want it!’
She was fired up. She had their undivided attention.
She was becoming an activist and educator at the age of NINE.
I wanted to stand at the top of the stairs forever and listen to her rail against the injustices perpetrated against women across the world…all in-between giggles as they played ‘truth or dare.’
Instead I wiped the tears of pride from my eyes and made my way back down the hall and to my bed. There is no need for me to check on her. She’s doing just wonderfully without my help.
Happy Birthday Hala.