Today I woke up with clarity in my noggin. This is wonderful because yesterday was a tough one.
I am floored these last couple of days at how beautiful and mature my girls have become. It seems like it happened overnight. I have been a little obsessive lately with looking at pictures of them both from just a few years ago of them when they looked like little kids. Baby faces, kid bodies and carefree attitudes about what people thought of them and the simple ways they looked at things and how they played with abandon and imagination.
It would be easy for me to be sad about this, but I’m not at all. I remember that time in my own life, where I started caring about boys, what I wore, hating the blemishes on my face and not being able to control it, bad hair days and afraid of change.
Changes, as in going to a new school where I didn’t know anyone.
I always imagined that the friends I had made while growing up in the small town of Washington, Iowa, where I knew everyone and everyone knew my family, would be the ones I graduated with in high school. So when my dad had major changes in his life, especially after joining AA and realizing that his life needed to be lived differently, decided to uproot our family and move 30 miles north to Iowa City, I was devastated. We moved the day after my 6th grade ended, and that last day of school was really tough for me. I cried. I mourned. My future that I had built in my mind was suddenly uncertain and uncomfortable.
I would start junior high the following fall not knowing anyone. Junior high is tough enough, but being the new kid and not having anyone around that I could pal around with in a new school was huge for me.
It turned out fine, of course, and I met so many wonderful people, many of whom are my friends on FB. Some great relationships were formed, and I am still close to many people that I met who made my life rich and formed me into the person I am today.
Maddie especially is very stressed about this since she is going to a high school next year that many of her friends will not be at. She is doing her best to put on a good face, but she is sad. She can’t see herself very clearly in her future because at McQueen, her friends won’t be there to give her the security she has become accustom to.
So today, I cornered her in the kitchen and said, “Maddie, allow me to have a mom moment right now without rolling your eyes at me.” I gave her an extra long hug and said, “Relish every moment today. I know you are sad inside about today because you feel like you are going to lose touch with your friends. Try to believe in your heart that you will meet some amazing people who don’t realize yet that you will be in their lives forever and will be so happy that you went to a new school where lifetime friendships will be created. You are beautiful, kind and generous, and you will look back after high school knowing that this time of sadness was temporary and turned out beautifully.”
She tried not to roll her eyes, and I hope that she will remember today that this life-changing move was the best thing that ever happened to her.
Look at how beautiful they have become, including Kate. We’ve been thrown some pretty major curve balls in our family, and it has made them even more beautiful on the inside than they would be without those events.
Someday, Lord willing, they will have kids of their own and be able to relate to those inevitable times that change brought beauty into their lives. They will be able to trust that all things will work out and will be able to understand that things they cannot control will be wonderful for their own kids, if they expect and look for the silver linings.
Maddie and Kate, I wanted to document this for you so that someday when you read it, you will see for yourselves and how beautiful you are and that our lives and the things that have happened in them served the purpose of impacting others… and have given you wisdom and empathy for others.
I love you both with all of my soul.
Love, Your Mom, Who Really DOES Understand What You’re Going Through