You can be amazing
As a mom, I want nothing more than to protect my child. She is my little sunshine and it would kill me if anything bad ever happened to her. But I also know that in life, bad things do and will happen. I know that there is no person on this earth that can escape that truth. And when it comes right down to it, I believe that one of the most important things I will ever teach my child is to be brave in this life. I want to prepare my daughter for a life that will not always go her way. A life that is wonderful and harsh all at the same time. I want my daughter to work hard for her achievements and most of all, when the going gets tough, I want to see her be brave.
It's not always easy to be brave. Sometimes life throws us curve balls when we're at bat and we cannot simply duck and accept the strike. We have to face the music, stand in the box, and swing. We can't expect someone to bail us out or fix it. We have to do it for ourselves and we have to take our swings head on. When we look at an issue that seems so complicated or difficult that it could never be handled alone, we want to be saved by someone or something. We look for an easy way out. How can we bypass this? How can this be ignored? Can someone else "fix" this for me?
The thing is, that nobody can do that for you. Ultimately, there will always come a point at which no one can save you from what life has thrown your way, and you will either have the balls to face it and persevere... or you will allow it to weaken you, change you, conquer you, and ultimately define you.
Bravery is like a muscle and it has to be worked. It has to be strengthened and flexed and it needs to be exercised consistently. When I reflect on the many times in my life that my parents did not "rescue" me and did not "fix" it for me. Those times when I faced the music and exercised my bravery... I remember those moments as some of the proudest times in my life.
Two quick stories...
After college I had zero dollars in my account yet I would soon begin my first job as a teacher. I knew I'd soon have a paycheck and I wanted to go ahead and get my own apartment. I asked my parents for a small loan. I wanted them to help me with the down payment for an apartment and I told them I'd pay them back.
My dad told me frankly that this is the real world. And if you don't have the money to do something, you cannot do it. You have to plan and save and think ahead. He said he could not offer me the funds for the apartment, but he would allow me to stay in my old bedroom at home until I saved enough to do it on my own. Well.... I was pissed. I knew he could afford to help me and I could not believe he wouldn't! I was so embarrassed to tell my coworkers that I was living at home. I dealt with the reality of life and when I finally saved up enough money, my parents helped me move (physically not financially) into my beautiful new apartment.... I had never been prouder of myself.
Now, that's not to say my parents never supported me when was down. For example, I will never forget when my boyfriend of 3 years broke my heart in college and my mom drove all the way to Athens to pick me up in the middle of the night because I called her crying. She helped me pack my bag for the weekend and she brought me home and hugged me all weekend! That meant everything to me!
So the moral of the story is, I want to see my daughter be brave. I know it's hard and I know I will want to save her at every turn. I'd love to be her umpire and catch every curve ball ever thrown her way, but that's not my job as her mama. That's her job. It doesn't mean I won't support her and love her. It just means, I will have to find a balance between loving her and saving her because in the end, when all is said and done, and I'm no longer here to fix it... Honestly, I want to see her be brave.