My oldest children are now at the ages that I have memories of from my own childhood. I can remember being 8 and 10 years old and some of the stories from that season of my life. This is both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because I can remember some of what it felt like to be their ages, terrifying because now they may remember when Mom loses it. (Just kidding, kind of)
Anyways, last week Sarah went roller skating with one of her friends from school. As she was getting ready, a story from my childhood popped into my head of the first time I went roller skating. I was in second grade and had joined Girl Scouts as a Brownie at a small christian school in Nebraska. Our Brownie leader was a large woman who I remember stongly disliking. On our rollerskating field trip she tied a pillow around her midriff so that if she fell she would have a soft landing for her rear. I remember even at that young age being mortified by the whole thing.
I told Sarah the story as she was tying her shoes at the kitchen table. We both laughed at the silliness of a pillow tied onto one's waist while roller skating. That story reminded me of how my days of being a Brownie came to an end. So I told Sarah this story too.
At the young age of 7 I had a very strong idea of fashion and it meant I only wore clothing that was pink and purple. This was a problem because my brownie uniform was brown, drab ugly brown. On the days we had Brownies I had to wear my uniform to school, the WHOLE day. To my second grade self this was the end of the world. According to my mother I threw a fit every week about wearing the brown jumper and white shirt with brown stripes that consisted of my uniform. Finally one morning Mom had enough, "Fine you don't want to wear the uniform than you will not be in Brownies anymore"
"Fine." I said. And that was it.
No more Brownies.
No more Brownies.
I don't even know why I was telling Sarah this story but as I finished it was like a light bulb went off. I looked at the little girl in front of me with her strong will and passionate opinions and saw myself. Sometimes I can think "Where does she get this stuff?" and "What am I doing wrong". And sometimes because we can butt heads at times I can tend to think we are so different but sharing that story and letting my mind wander back to when I was that age, I started to see a lot of similarities. Her stubborness, her creativity, her hurry to get things done, her love for her little sisters, her strong desire for freedom, her sense for what she likes, her love of beauty...these are all things she gets from me. Yes, me.
And because of that I am the perfect mother for her. God has given her to me because I have what she needs. I have been hard on myself at times feeling like I need to be something different than I am. I have plenty of margin for growth but for some reason this story hit me. One, that I should expect nothing less than strong passionate creative children. And two that I don't want anything less.