This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Friday, October 16, 2009

The wisdom of a teenage daughter...

My oldest daughter is 32. She is now the mother to two young sons, ages 7 and almost 5. She is an excellent Mother, organized, intuitive wife and a wonderful friend. She was eight when her father and I divorced, and it was extremely difficult for her and her younger sister who was 6. She has always had a very passionate nature and a quick temper (inherited from her Dad). She raged at our divorce and pushed all my buttons, testing me, to see if I would abandon her too...

I love my daughter unconditionally. She was angry much of the time and a challenge to communicate with. We "butted heads" often, but I understood her pain was generated by me initiating the divorce. The guilt I felt, propelled me to never let her down emotionally.

My youngest daughter and I are very similar in our temperament and a tight close bond. We could always talk easier than my eldest daughter and I.

My firstborn daughter and I have that intense love between us, like most firstborn children, but we were like a rattlesnake and a rabbit. She would coil to strike at the slightest inquiry and I would hop around attempting to calm her down.

She is highly intelligent, an independent thinker, has a photographic memory, fiercely loyal, solid judgment with an unshakable belief in herself and her decisions. She never second guessed herself. (She would have made an excellent Supreme Court Judge.) She does however, like to be in control, or all hell breaks loose!

We had been through a difficult period in her senior year of high school. I had transferred her from a private Catholic school to a public one, where her sister attended. The private school was going through financial, Principal and Teacher problems. I had tried to transfer her at the end of her sophomore year, but she had refused.

She finally agreed to transfer in her senior year. She basically had enough credits to graduate but because the class requirements were different from private to public school, she had to take redundant classes. This was a waste of time in her eyes, and began to miss class. She had always gotten A's and I didn't want her to not graduate. I rode her pretty hard, trying everything to coax her back into her class...

She is highly sensitive, cautious, sentimental and insightful to the point of being psychic. None of us have ever had to give her gift suggestions, because she instinctively knows the perfect gift. She knew I loved gardening and used that knowledge skillfully when she felt I needed some daughterly advice, to allow her some emotional slack...

This is the poem she gave me....

by Naomi Long Madgett

I wouldn't coax the plant, if I were you.
Such watchful nurturing may do it harm.
Let the soil rest from so much digging,
And wait until it's dry before you water it.
The leaf's inclined to find its own direction;
Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.

Much growth is stunted by too careful prodding,
Too eager tenderness.
The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.

That really hit home, and opened my eyes. I remembered all I had taught her, how much I believed in her, trusted in the Lord to help me, told her it was her future, and left her alone...
Shortly after, she came to me and asked if I would go with her to talk with her teacher. She had a ton of work to do, but she did it and walked with her gold braid of honors, graduating with a 3.8 GPA, with her class.

There was a big lesson there for me about pushing too hard and allowing her to make her own decisions, and be her own person. My goal had been to raise an independent, intelligent, woman capable of going out into life, equipped to make her own way. My methods, in forcing and pushing her, was not showing how much faith I had in her. She taught me how to be a better Mother, by helping me see the person, she knew she would become...

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