The last few episodes of "Parenthood" have really got my wheels spinning. I've been reflecting so much on the great responsibility that comes with raising little girls. What kind of young ladies will they become? What type of example am I setting for them?
I think that so much of raising children is about having realistic expectations. Though we have all of these ideas about who they will be and how they will behave, they are individuals. They have their own little personalities and their own ways of dealing with things. As Isabelle gets older, I am realizing that she is who she is. She has flaws and can sometimes be challenging. But she's beautiful because of those flaws, those are the qualities that make her unique and special. As her parents, it's not our job to make her perfect. It's our job to embrace who she is and help her use her attributes in a positive manner.
It's also our job to live a life that sets an example. How can I expect my girls to have positive self-esteem if I call myself "fat"? How can I expect them to treat others with respect if they hear their parents argue and engage in negative conversations? I am their guidebook on how to become a woman. They are watching my every move and listening to my every word and whether I realize it or not, I am shaping them. Already. What an incredible responsibility.
I want my girls to be strong and confident. I want them to believe in hard work and the power of a dream. I want them to become involved in healthy relationships and to love themselves enough to know that they deserve love. I want them to be self-sufficient and secure. I want them to make smart decisions but learn to forgive themselves when they make mistakes. I want them to live without regret and move on from failure with a stronger sense of self. I want them to lean on their family for support and to always know that this is HOME.
I pray for these things daily. The night I had Brees, I was holding her close, nursing her late into the night. Shawn was sleeping next to us and the room was so quiet and peaceful. I remember looking at this beautiful little girl, so innocent and new. And thanking God over and over. For choosing ME. He chose me, out of all the women in the world, to be her mother. He loves me so much that He deemed me worthy to be the mother to these two little girls. I will never forget the feeling I had that night, the revelation of knowing this important truth.
Not only will our children learn from us, but we will continue to learn through them. We will learn about ourselves and strive to be better. Because one day they will take all of these days that are their childhood and they will march forward into their own future. And I want that future to be as big and bright as the night sky.