Wednesday, January 7, 2015

the woe of raising daughters

The way our house is situated, our neighbor, who is quite a distance away, has a light that points towards our house. By the time it crosses their pasture, through the trees and up our driveway, the light is faint but it is enough to light up my face a tiny bit as I lay in bed and look out the window. Every night I fall asleep staring at it, thinking.

You girls got scooters for Christmas and earlier in the day, I had watched you race fearlessly down a hill on them. I was filled with two feelings; one that I wanted you both to grab the danger that is being a small person and riding a fast moving thing and stare it down and two that I did not want you to fall (I also did give thought to how upset B gets if her dress gets messy). I had to work hard to keep my usual warning of "careful!" from jumping out.

Later, while staring at that distant light, which on a foggy night looks much like a little moon, I thought about how I have those conflicting hopes and thoughts about a lot of parts of your lives. I hope that you know the feeling of playing on a winning team but that you also have many lazy afternoons in your future, not to be filled up with endless obligations. I hope that you can walk confidently alone across a crowded cafeteria with your head held high but that you also know the feeling of your fingers intertwined with a boy as he walks with you down the sidewalk. I hope that you break through any glass ceiling you may encounter and find yourself with as much success as you work for but I long for you to also know the contented quiet of a nursery where the moon lights the cheeks of the newborn sleeping in your arms.

I wish we could have all the best of all the worlds. But there is not time nor opportunity. There have been many times I have had to close the door on one dream, to take a chance on another. There is little guiding these decisions, so the best advice I have is to trust yourself. Be content with the fact that you cannot, in fact, have it all. But you can get pretty close. I may never know what life would have looked like if I spent my 20's climbing a corporate ladder, traveling remote destinations or getting advanced degrees. But I do know that starting every morning, two bright little faces accompany me on my day and focusing on what is best for you is the message I trust.

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