A friend of my heart wrote a post about her fears in having a daughter. I love her writing voice, and many of her phrases tugged on resonant heartstrings in me, so... despite the on-going litany of tasks and to-dos and shoulds and "Good Things That I Ought to be Doing Instead" [please tell me I'm not the only one who has these] I've run to my keyboard to think through some fears myself.
I knew from the moment I married that, if I had children, odds were heavily weighted in favor of having a child like I was. We have a clone of me (or as close as we'll get outside a laboratory) in our heart-winning hurricane of a girl. She is mature for her age in many ways, but she still brings me fears aplenty.
I fear being her primary female role model, because I still get it wrong so often.
I fear looking at her and finding new things that need fixing in me.
I fear walking through familiar prisons again with her--and forgetting how I got out the first time.
I fear seeing her bypass some of my prisons and (heaven help me) possibly resenting her the tiniest bit for escaping what I did not.
I fear feeling my heart sink as I watch her get bewildered by the same things that confused me.
I fear that my role of comforter and rejuvenator will atrophy or be destroyed as she gets older.
I fear that she frames who she will be without me or in spite of me.
My daughter, more than my son, reminds me of who I have been and who I am. She is as painful and frustrating a mirror of me as heaven could shape. In wrestling with how to help or direct her (or simply outlast her), I have often thought wildly that _I_ of all people should know what to do! I've had more time with her than anyone else on the planet has. 2300+ days. 55,000+ hours. So often she leaves me staggered and speechless. She unwittingly shows me how often I don't have the answers.
I want so many good things for her. I know how hard the road could be ahead. It feels like cheating sometimes to remind myself that she belongs to God first, so HE is the one who directs her life, and it's okay if I don't have the answers because he does.
I'm trying to 'be' when I'm with her in ways that leave me feeling vulnerable. Answering questions she asks me just after I get out of the shower. Being honest about my struggles and insecurities. Asking for her help without leaning on her in ways she isn't meant to uphold me.
If it's hard to be a woman in all the ways that are best and brave, it's a billion times harder to be that and encourage an open floor for questions from your preschool audience as you do it.
For now... it's the best way I know to help her learn to be whoever she might be.