Not looking in the mirror

August 16, 2007


The Swimmy has been experimenting with a bunch of activities over the past year or so. I say “experimenting” because there isn’t any one thing that she has latched on to that she LOVES and MUST KEEP DOING. I don’t think.

Dance may fall into the category. She likes that. She practices on her own. She makes up some things. That may come close.

Tennis may be a close second, but she’s only had a racquet in her hands four times. She is talking about it and has asked to take another mini-camp and a class during the school year.

Here’s the thing… She is unbelievably fast and amazingly light on her feet. When she runs it is as if she isn’t even touching the ground. Truly. She has an amazing natural grace (for the most part) and with a little coaching can strike some beautiful moves.

But. She has no sense of urgency, competition or challenge. She lives in her own world (which? is totally a happy one.) and works on her own time in her own mind.

In this sense, she is SO NOT ME. (Except the happy world part. We get to share that.)

I found myself watching her tennis lessons, gymnastics camp and various other activities and feeling more and more anxious – almost annoyed. IF ONLY she had the head game. IF ONLY she would just try. IF ONLY she wasn’t so hesitant I know she’d love it and want to do more… IF ONLY.

I hated that I thought those things.

She’s only six for Christ’s sake. SIX. Who cares if she isn’t as competitive as I am? Who cares if she hasn’t found “her thing” that she loves to do? Who cares if her natural physical talent never gets realized? WHO CARES?

The Swimmy and I are coming to the part of our relationship where I have to let go of certain things I wished and hoped for as a mom of a little baby and truly see her Whole Self. It’s a strange feeling. Not a bad one, but a strange one. But it’s okay.

She may never join a dance company. She may never collect blue ribbons. She may never run for school elections or want to plan a major youth group project.

She may. But she may never.

She’s happy. She’s healthy. She’s bright. She has friends. She has a good, caring heart. She loves her family and says prayers every night before bed that she really means.

And that? Is enough. It is SO enough.

That's My Girl

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6 Responses to “Not looking in the mirror”

  1. Chris Cactus Says:

    That’s an awesome (yet hard, I’m sure) realization to have. Because you don’t want to be one of Those Moms. You know the type.

  2. stephanie Says:

    Heck, I’m 27 and I have yet to recognize my natural physical talent. But I can rattle off a list of things it’s NOT… gymnastics, softball, soccer, volleyball, running, high jump, long jump, tennis…
    (I was pretty crushed when I realized I was never going to be an Olympic gymnast. The fact that I was 4’8″ at 9 years old should have been more of a tip-off.)
    Maybe I’m really good at curling. I’ve never tried that one.

  3. KJL Says:

    Letting go!! Dammit, that’s what I forgot to do. Oh well. Maybe with the next two. Thanks for your words. They’ll help me next week when I take the oldest back to school (note to self: let go, let go, let go, let go)

  4. Kathryn in NZ Says:

    Oh man – to be able to detach. I now have the t-shirt “Evil Gym Mom”. Wearing it right now even.
    Vibes for both of us to let our daughters be their fabulous selves in spite of us, as well as with our help.

  5. Leslie Says:

    Great post. Great thoughts Pam… I know I have thoughts and hopes and wishes for my daughter who isn’t even 100 days old yet… what the heck, and what it comes down to.. I want someone who has a gentle kind heart and loves the Lord. Thats enough pressure for one day…..
    Thanks for the post.. I should bookmark and look at it in 5 years! 🙂
    So nice to catch up with you.

  6. john Says:

    Mother and daughter are growing and learning together, each her own lesson, but both bonded forever…. This is what being a good parent is all about.