There is something very strange about having a daughter. When you’re young, you strive for independence, to be your own person, someone who is separate from everyone and everything else. You pride yourself on your “you-ness.” You are unique, you are special, there is no one like you….and then you have a daughter.
All at once you see yourself reflected back, but it’s not so much like a mirror as it is a pond or a window. The reflection is there, but slightly different, like someone took the “you-ness” you’re so proud of and rearranged it to make a whole new being. And this new being is a lot like you. She has your eyes and your smile and your clumsy way of falling down by tripping on nothing but your own two feet. On the other hand, she’s nothing like you. She’s methodical and creative in a way you could only dream of being. She’s silly and quirky, living in that stage in between caring so very much what others think and not caring at all. She loves video games, which you despise. She likes to build things, whereas you can’t even seem to put together a Lego tower without being mired in frustration.
She is like you. But different. She’s more like herself.
And at eight years old and some change, her “her-ness” is taking over. Every day you see less and less of yourself in her face, and more and more of her. I guess that’s normal, for her to follow the same path as girls have throughout history, the path you yourself followed not so long ago. She will strive to be independent, to be her own person, someone who is separate from everyone and everything else, ESPECIALLY her mother.
But that’s part of the wonder of it all. I don’t get to have a miniature version of myself, instead I get to witness the creation of this whole new person. She is someone I’m grateful to watch grow. I watch her fall, get up, succeed, fail, laugh, cry, learn and change. She is teaching me more than I’m teaching her. And that’s the gift.
(This week I’m featuring some incredible images taking of my family by Christina Gepner of Soul Studios in Kansas City. If you’re looking for an incredible family/lifestyle photographer, Christina is amazing!)