It’s not every day you get compliments from your sixteen year old, teenage daughter. Let’s face it, the older they get the less smart mom and dad appear. Like every child eventually does, she has come to understand that mom and dad can’t fix everything, and we are far from perfect.
Today The Beauty and I were in the car, running a few errands and she told me how thankful she was her Dad and I have made her do things on her own and how thankful she is we have not sheltered her “too much.” She went on for several minutes, thankful that we encourage her to order her own food at restaurants, to pay for her own things when possible, to speak in front of others, to cook, and that she has some clue about some secular goings on in the world. She expressed a growing confidence in herself. My mother’s heart was soaring.
She has not always felt this way. I distinctly remember sitting at a McDonalds and the young Beauty wanted an ice cream cone. I gave her the money and told her she could go up and order one. She was horrified rather than pleased. That afternoon it was not busy, and I would be able to see the entire exchange and offer help if needed. She seriously considered not getting the ice cream that day. Eventually her desire for ice cream won out, and today I can look back and be glad we encouraged independence over the years.
The Principal and I are far from model parents. We mess up a lot. Lately, parenting The Shrimp has seemed nearly impossible. We have tried to be very aware; however, that our time is short and that it won’t be long and they will be making their own decisions – more important than what to order off the menu. So we have encouraged them to make decisions when possible and fostered independence.
Today, I am thankful to get compliments from The Beauty. The little girl is growing up.