Why is it that when we have children, we automatically assume they will look like us, act like us, and be like us? Well, honey, NEWSFLASH—it’s all LIES. Your child may act like you, look like you, or even be like you in some ways, but the likelihood that you will have the complete trifecta is probably next to none!
When we have our children, we map out and dream up their whole lives while they’re in utero. But it rarely ever happens the way we plan. I have a beautiful 10-year-old daughter; she is hilarious, compassionate, opinionated, extremely extroverted, thoughtful, marches to the beat of her own drum, and is a complete ham. While I can honestly say she did get a few of those traits from me, one thing she absolutely did not get is my complete love for school, learning, and books.
This may not be a big deal for some, but for me it was devastating. In my mind, my child was going to be racing me to the door to get to school and telling me all about the new books that she wanted to read. Instead, I am lovingly pestering her to read her allotted 20 minutes each day, and when I ask what she learned new in school, I get the dreaded response of “nothing.” No parent wants to hear “nothing” because we know for a fact that you have indeed learned something.
Previously when I asked her what her favorite subject was in school, she said “recess.” I thought to myself, my child just said recess and simultaneously clutched my imaginary pearls. When I tried probing further about core subjects, I was met with a very firm and definitive “No.” I literally laughed out loud because what else could I say or do? Now, I know what you’re thinking, maybe it’s the school, the teacher, the class… nope. She was very fine with all those things individually. My child just does not like school. However, recently her favorite subject changed from recess to math. HA! WIN FOR ME! And I will take it!
Don’t misunderstand, my daughter and I have a lot in common, but there are certain things—such as school, which I consider major—that we don’t. Our differences don’t end there. When I was a child, I hated getting in trouble, breaking the rules, or doing anything that might be considered the “wrong” thing. If you looked up goody-two-shoes in the dictionary, my picture would be staring back at you. Seriously.
Fast forward decades later to my motherhood, and my beautiful, willful child does not share in my philosophy. At all. Let me be clear, she is not a juvenile delinquent in the making, but her willfulness (or stubbornness, whatever you want to call it) means that all the thought and care I gave to avoid getting in trouble, she does not. She is just going to do it and think about the consequences later. And by ‘later’ I mean when she actually gets into trouble and it’s punishment time.
In her 10-year-old world, she knows better than me; she’s the smart one and I’m the remedial one with a whole lot of catching up to do. We all know that isn’t true (let’s be honest, I have decades on her), but that’s just not how a 10-year-old brain works—well, at least not hers.
This may seem laughable—hardly something worth getting upset over, but again, this was not part of my in-utero plans. Not at all. Before you say it or think it, no I didn’t expect my child to be perfect because I am not. And while I can add humor to this, it is a very real issue that mothers face. We often feel like we did something wrong because our child does not like school, is defiant or strong-willed at every turn (and not to their benefit), or has very different personality traits than we do. But it’s okay. You did not do anything wrong. We are all doing the best we can with the knowledge we have to love on our babies and prepare them for the world.
And while my Pumpkin and I have vastly different opinions when it comes to some of the things I am very passionate about, she still inspires me every day. She is determined to be herself no matter what and to shine her light as bright as possible (even if it blinds others in the room). Her love, compassion, and thoughtfulness towards others melt my heart. Her love for words, cards, and the smallest of gestures reminds me of the beautiful soul I had the privilege of birthing.
She is growing, learning, and finding her way—in the way that she needs to. So what she doesn’t like school, and so what she isn’t that fond of reading; she still is one of the dopest, most beautiful people I know. She is an awesome human. And she doesn’t have to be my “mini-me” to still have all my love.Leave a Comment