This week, Flannery turns 11 months old. And today, for some reason, it hit me that I have a daughter and more importantly, an apprentice, an audience, a charge, a moldable and impressionable little soul.
I am the oldest of five children and so I was my mom’s apprentice. I remember watching her do everything from caring for and raising my siblings to seeing her care for the house, cook dinner and sew a multitude of clothes and other assorted objects for us. And guess what I wanted to be when I grew up? That’s right, a stay-at-home-mom.
Today as I had this realization, I thought about everything I do and wondered if Flannery would pick up on any of it. It’s funny, but I already feel like she’s more like her dad and in some ways, am curious to see what she’s like as she gets to be an older girl and hopefully, woman.
I thought about how I wear makeup–when and how much. I thought about how I dress; how I wear my hair and even how diligent I am in caring for our home. In all of these things, I want the very best for her, of course. I want her to wear makeup when it’s appropriate but not too early or for the wrong reasons. I want her to be able to express herself through clothing or music, but I also want to be able to be supportive and set limits. I also want her to learn the importance of being neat and tidy, even if she isn’t herself, one day.
Most of all though, I want for our children to know that what’s in our hearts is what is most important about this life. And as I take stock of all the things I do or don’t do, I remember that I don’t read the Bible very much. I do have memories of seeing my mom’s Bible open on the kitchen table with her empty coffee cup next to it. I remember listening to music in the car that was good, and sometimes of the christian variety.
In the end, I want to have conversations balancing this world and the next, and right now, have no idea how to do that! I don’t want her to remember me and my struggle to lose baby weight, or one of the many meltdowns I may or may not have. I also don’t want her to see how sometimes it’s more important to me to get things done and have a tidy house before company shows up than to evaluate my heart or spend time reading and praying.
I know that in the end, our children grow up and are who they are meant to be. But now more than ever, I realize the great weight of having a daughter. And a son. 🙂