My daughter is an incredible little human. She is exactly who she is without apology or shame. She stubbornly exerts her will, her voice, her independence and has since the day she was born. A wise soul who has the mental capacity and insight to be witty and goofy but also loving and sweet and understanding. She has depth and light and freedom that is all hers. We support her. We encourage her. We love her beyond words or measure. We want everything for her that we didn’t have and more.
Baby Reinvention literally charges a room. She ignites a room with her presence. People love to be around her. It is really an interesting phenomena to sit back and observe your child “work the room” and draw people in. I wonder to myself how exactly she does it? How does she intuitively know just how to approach others, what to say to win them over? I have intuitive people skills also. I attribute mine to years of treading eggshells in my home life. I ponder if she’s an Empath or one of those “Indigo” children?
She is such a gift.
And while I am the one who is supposed to be doing the teachings, it is in fact quite reciprocal. Perhaps if I am honest, maybe even contrary.
My child has taught me an incredible amount about who I am, my fears and triggers, where I need to grow and what is beautiful about me. She has allowed me to see my childhood self and nurture little me in ways that I didn’t receive growing up. She has forced me to stop and be in the moment and believe in magic once again. Unbeknownst to her she is one of my greatest life instructors. Or maybe she does know.
Being her mom has enriched and challenged me in so many ways.
Parenting a willful, exuberant child is not always an easy task. I mean, truth be told, parenting is hard as shit. Period. Being a parent has the capacity to bring out your best and worst as fast as Linda Blair’s head spins in “The Exorcist” Movie. Just like that. And some days I swear that is me. Or her. Or both. Possibly on repeat.
Some days I celebrate our victories. We go through the day without argument. Our day is calm and smooth and cooperative. It is beautiful. It is fun. The day is warm and fulfilling. And I think “Wow! Finally, I figured this parenting thing out!” I am awestruck at this incredible being that we created.
Other days are a total shit show. She is defiant and bucking every single part of our daily routine like we are re-enacting “Law and Order” interrogation and courtroom scenes. Everything feels hard. Emotions run high. We take turns losing our shit. Consequences are doled out. The day is heavy and endless. I think to myself “I am not cut out for this parenting stuff. I suck at this.” while googling pediatric behavioral disorders and blaming myself for drinking coffee, eating lunch meat and having my hair colored while pregnant.
Despite the roller coaster ride of being a parent, my girl and I share a special connection and bond. We are lucky to spend a lot of time together because we homeschool. We are quite a bit alike. She is my mini-me. My partner in crime. She is highly sensitive like me. Has a flair for the dramatic, apparently also like me (if you ask my friends and family at least). We are both determined and headstrong and self-ruling. We march to the beat of our own music. Happily, rebellious. I understand her because she reminds me of me.
I simultaneously celebrate our similarities and feel terrified for her. I don’t want her to be like me. No! I wanted her to be free of some of the parts of me that wreaked havoc on myself. The anxiety. The sensitivity. The depth. I want her to be light and airy and breeze through life unscathed. I want her to be what I could never muster.
I naively believed as I read through various parenting books and even prior to that with my multiple college classes on child development and psychology that we could shape Baby Reinvention into who she would become. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing ever?! That’s been a helluva lesson in itself. Nature vs. Nurture. A living experiment at the Reinvention house. Guess who won.
Raising her up has given me the gift of personal growth with my little one and my husband. Our entire unit has grown together because of who she is. She has managed to turn our world topsy turvy and beautified it in ways I didn’t know possible. Baby Reinvention unleashed a love within me I didn’t know existed. I never knew how much you could love your child. It is powerful force.
I realize now, how much she has injected into not just our life but the world at large in her 8 years here on earth. I am so grateful to share this journey with her and Mr. Reinvention. Realizing as of lately, I don’t have to have all of the answers. That actually one of the first rules of parenting is trusting your innate sense of meeting your child’s needs. Humans aren’t robots. We are all unique. We can’t be defined by schedules or statistics or normative data. Nor should we be. We can’t be forced into ideas and behaviors and routines that don’t work for who we are at our core. And we shouldn’t try to achieve that. I recognize that the best way for me to inspire Baby Reinvention is to live my best life. To live our best life together. Being true to myself. Showing her to honor herself. To trust her gut. To love and encourage and celebrate her. But also let her know when she’s acting like an asshole. (If me referring to my child’s behavior as asshole-like well…..sorry not sorry. This is real shit.) And right back at me, when I am acting like an asshole. (Surprise! It happens people!) I hope we can continue to learn from each other and bloom together. I hope one day to express to her all of the wonderful things she’s taught me.
Who are some of your greatest teachers? Share a story in the comments.