Eighteen years ago, a precious little baby came into my life. She was my second child at 20 years old and I was already terrified that I would have another one just like my son.
Now don’t get me wrong, my son is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met, and he has one beautiful soul. But he was bad…. as a toddler…. it was so bad. He was a strong-willed little boy that let nothing get in his way and I was a strong-willed woman that wasn’t going to let him defeat me. I’ll hand it to him, he brought me to my knees a few times, but we’ve managed to develop a close bond.
When my daughter came into the world, she had this light about her. She slept the entire night starting at a month old, she was a squishy baby and she had a smile that would make your heart melt. She was always happy and cried very little. As a toddler, she was even cuter. Dressing like a princess was her favorite! She loved to dress up and pretend like she was a princess.
My favorite memory of her being little, she was about three years old and it was the weekend she would spend with her dad. She loved going to her dad’s house and on the Friday’s she knew he would pick her up, it was the longest day ever for her! I had an errand to run that afternoon and she followed me down the hallway as I made my way to the bedroom. She says, “Mom? Are you getting me dressed now?” I replied, “No ma’am, not yet.” Then she proceeds to ask me, “Are you going to draw me a bath?”
Now, the reason that is my favorite story about my sweet child, is because that is the very moment, I knew she was going to let me have it when she became a teenager. She didn’t realize it, but she just challenged me.. She didn’t realize it, but she just started the biggest war that we would ever fight. Who can out sass the other one… WHO is going to have the biggest attitude problem and who is going to be more sarcastic?
Carol & Rebecca are nick names we use for each other. She told me one day that I needed to have an old lady name so she called me Carol. I then decided that she needed a new name so her name became Rebecca. (Don’t ask… I have no idea. ) When she got to the age when it was fun to embarrass her, man oh man. Teenagers have their own secret language these days, I hear things like, “Mom.. don’t be flexin’.” or my personal favorite, “It be like dat!” I always made it a point to use those phrases when she had friends around. Old people…
My daughter has always been very dramatic, so dramatic in fact that along he way her dramatic-ness started to obtain different accents. When she was in elementary school, I picked her up from the babysitters and she was all strapped in her little car seat, just as happy as a clam. She tells me that she can speak English. I was a little confused by that since English was the language that I taught her, but I just went with it. “That’s great honey!” She then proceeds to start talking to me in a British accent and it sounded as if she’d been doing it for years.
Her birthday was yesterday, and today she had her very first adult melt down. She just experienced the life is very overwhelming moment. I remember when I had that moment and it sucked. I’m so proud of her, she has a job, she goes to school every day and she does it all on her own. By that I mean, I don’t have to yell at her every morning to get out of bed, I don’t have to remind her on what days she must work. She is a very responsible young lady and she has turned into my not so little princess. She still dresses up, but she doesn’t twirl around the living room like she used to. Instead of seeing her in princess dresses, I now get to see her in a prom dress.
My mom didn’t get to see me in a prom dress because I dropped out in the tenth grade. So, not only did I get to see my baby in a pretty dress, my mom was there to see her too and be a part of this beautiful memory. This is where I had to let go of her. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but if I didn’t do it.. then she would have never learned what real life is about.
I fed her everything bit of knowledge, motherly advice, the do’s and don’ts, the what if’s, the now this can happens, the say no to drugs and yes to hugs speeches. I gave her all I knew to give her and pushed her out the nest. She may have thought I didn’t care about her but I loved her more than she would ever know. I waved my white flag and said, “have at it.” She made it! She’s still a teenager but now she must be her own person.
This is where God comes in. Up until now, I’ve never truly been able to appreciate the significance of these mother/daughter moments. When I was her age, my mother couldn’t speak one word that was right in my eyes. She knew absolutely nothing, and she obviously hadn’t experienced real life like I did. I had it WAY harder than she did. Boy was I wrong… When the moment came in my life that I had to stand down and admit that my mother was right about mostly everything, it hurt my feeling. My mom got to stand there proudly and cross her arms, give a little giggle and even throw in a head shake… All while saying, “I told you so…”
Tonight, I got to experience that very same moment as I watched my poor sweet baby in tears because life is rough. She just let it all out and my heart absolutely broke for her. But…. there might have been a very small part of me that was getting a little vindication from this. I may have took a step back but she was starting to realize that she will always need her momma. You know how I know that? Because she went to her room in tears but she came back and gave me a kiss on my cheek once she got over it.
God is always with me and when I have those moments where life would be much better suited if I just handled things myself. God takes a step back and lets go of me, he’s always there when it’s time to run back to him. If I never let Jesus in my heart then I wouldn’t have the courage to share my words with you. Letting the enemy tell me that my words don’t matter to whoever reads this would be missing out on a huge blessing.
I had to let her cry through her boo boos, and God lets me cry through mine. And when I’m done, he takes me by my hand and he doesn’t let go. You don’t know what God has in store for you tomorrow… Just love him through it and it will always be a good day.