Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Daughter Made Me Do It

It's April 3rd, my "mamaversary."
Typically on this day, I dust off my daughter's birth story; I always get choked up mid-way, right around
Then I heard her...UBER cool nurse... "What do you MEAN they almost DIED ?!?! She was FINE when I left!"
Yup, I just read it again and lost my breath for a second.

Today that baby girl is 15. Her 14th trip around the sun had quite an impact on me as a mom; she went from a baby who would not be kept from entering this world to a beautiful young lady right before my eyes. This is expected, everyone's kids grow up and change from being that little one you remember to resembling the adult they will become. But this beauty was intentional.

In January 2012 my hub, bry and I attended a new year's intention setting gathering. One of the activities was to write several intentions for the year on a 3 x 5 card and place it in a self-addressed, stamped envelope. In December we each received our cards. I was excited to see that my entire list came to fruition, or was in the process. Bryana shared her card with me; I remember there being a list of 5 things but #2 is the only one I remember verbatim, "To see myself as beautiful." I teared up as I read it and told her," I bet I can tell you the exact DAY this started to happen for you, Papi probably can too. You've always been pretty and had a beautiful spirit but one morning you woke up and just 'got gorgeous.' I'll bet that was the day you believed in your beauty."

After several hundred great conversations about this transition, I'm convinced the opportunity to be her mom is an important pillar in my journey to self.

I've done certain things for my daughter because I am a mom, my momness made me do it.
But now, as my daughter is becoming her own person I see that she is encouraging my Babsness, and because of her I'm doing and believing things I've been trying to for years.
Funny, this very quality in her makes me quite proud of my momness.

My daughter made me love my butt.
A few months ago she sent me this picture in a text and simply said, "This is how I want you to feel about your butt." Say what you will about the validity of the ad, the point is she watched me struggle through an eating disorder and heard me change the words I use about my body...with the exception of my back side... and with a quick glance to my phone, encouraged me to see myself in a new way.

heh, that's little Bry in front of me 2003

My daughter made me audition.
When Bry was little, I directed a K-12 summer musical theatre program for several years, I sang regularly as the leader of our church worship team and, as she puts it, "walked in off the street and nabbed the lead role in a community production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." That was all years ago, our new family, a career and pursuing a college degree put all of that on the back-back burner.
So, when the audition notice for a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar showed up on the announcement board at her dance studio, she pointed it out to me and wouldn't take "No" for an answer.
We opened on Good Friday and the cast is AMAZING :)

My daughter makes me a good mom.
While she was away for Spring Break this year, we redecorated her room. She spent months collecting ideas and designing it and when she was ready, invited me to friend her on Wanelo so I had access to the album with all the inspiration pictures. Scrolling through the pictures brought me back to when I was her age; she likes the same clothes, the same colors, even wants the same Doc Marten floral boots that I wanted back in the day.
The text exchange that followed is indelibly etched on my heart.

me: its scary how much you are like me when I was ur age

Bryana: Yay! I wanna be like u when I grow up
I asked her about it later, wanting to be like me, and she said "of course I do, I want my kids to like me when they're teenagers." Yeah, that was a heart melter of the NTH degree. I must've done something good.

She makes me do other things too... like buy a dress that looks amazing for no other reason than it looks amazing and sing harmonies to obscure folk songs, she makes me giggle, she makes me think, she makes me cry (good tears) and most of all, she makes me proud.

I remember quite clearly the sense of awe-inspired-fear I had when I held her as a newborn. She made eye contact immediately, as one friend put it, as though she were admiring your soul. I remember praying for the ability to be the mother this strong being needs, sensing she was put on this earth to do big things. I told her that on her birthday a few years ago. I shared her birth story and reminded her that not even a little thing like dying stoped her birth.

Know what she said?

"It didn't stop you either, momma. We're both still here and we both have big things to do."

Indeed we do Punkin, indeed we do.