Ten years ago today I was just Kate. I wasn’t “heyyyy Mommmmmmy” or “MAMA!” or “mom. mom. mom. mom. mom. hey, mom.” Ten years ago I didn’t lose sleep over things like first days of school, bullies, loose teeth, or slumber parties. Ten years ago I didn’t know how much of my life would no longer be mine. Ten years ago I had no clue how much my heart could hold.
Lucy came into this world in the manner you would expect more from her sister. She was sideways and she was stubborn, and in the end, her trip into this world wasn’t anything like I’d imagined…not that birth is ever what you imagine it to be. Lucy has never been sideways or stubborn, though, not even on her worst day. Lucy is one of those kids who is able to find the good in even the worst situations. Sometimes I look at her and wonder how her loud, brash, foul-mouthed mother ever created something so sweet. It’s in those moments that I know I have Lucy here to teach me things like patience, kindness, seeing the best in people. Those aren’t my strong traits – I know. That’s shocking.
Even for all of that, Lucy is the least emotional of my girls. While she certainly feels things deeply, she doesn’t like to see people cry or get upset. The outward showing of these emotions makes her uncomfortable. I think it’s in these moments that I know why she is mine…because I am perhaps the MOST emotional person. I might shrug things off and on the outside act like I don’t care, but I feel things more deeply than I probably should and I feel like it’s my job to show her that feeling deeply is a good thing. When Dalton died, Lucy was a mess. Not so much because of the loss of her dog, though of course that affected her. Mostly, though, she was distraught over watching her parents grieve his loss. I had to tell her multiple times over those weeks that it’s normal for adults to cry and that sometimes crying can even be a good thing.
Ten is already a challenge for me and she’s not even there yet. Suddenly Lucy is more like a grown up than a child, and I’m having a hard time with that transition. I have to look at the big picture, though, and know that the two of us will continue to learn from each other. I will look to her for kindness and for patience, and I hope I can teach her a few things about how imperfection isn't the end of the world. This is the dance of moms and daughters, apparently. Ten years in and I’m still learning every single day about how to parent a daughter. There are things that I wasn’t taught by the woman who birthed me, and things that I need to change about what she did teach me. This choreography will be new and different, and maybe a little uncoordinated at times, and that’s fine, too. See? I’m a little more patient already.