We've hit that point in the year when my not so mini is gone way more than she's home. We get precious moments smattered throughout the otherwise two best months of the year, so tonight with lightening bugs hovering around us and the wind chimes out playing the cars driving by, we laid on the trampoline, watching the big, fluffy clouds and talking about things we've not talked about in quite some time.
I think all the time about everything I should be telling her...all the things I should be teaching her...fearing that I'm somehow missing great opportunities to help her become someone I would want to know...someone who she will want to be. But, most of the time I find myself without the words, without the advice, feeling totally unprepared and ill-equipped to handle whatever scenario she has laid at my feet. Yet, what I think to myself, what I find myself saying to her, is that "I've been there...I was 13 once...and I survived"...not exactly words of comfort or direction, yet sometimes that's all I've got. But tonight was different...tonight we laughed...and we talked about her need to find her place, her passion in a world that tells these kids they must have something they excel at or they somehow aren't doing/being enough (at 13...I'm almost 40 and STILL struggle with this so I find this topic particularly frustrating, but a highlight of the night came when I shared this with her and she said we were twinsies because of this very fact)...we talked about the clouds and how beautiful the sky was...we talked about her friends and I told her that if I were her age I would want to be her friend because she is such a good friend...we talked about how important it is to me that she not do anything that forces her to focus on her looks/image because she is so much more than that and who she is is so much more important.
I read Bob Goff's words the other day and they stuck with me. So simple, so true. Our opinions are the visible, outward perspective we leave with those we meet...our love, while often quiet or understated - or, perhaps withheld or not freely given, is what those left long after we're gone will remember about us. Tonight, as we talked about who she wants to be...as I shared that I still don't know who/what I want to be...I said that at this point...what is very possibly the middle of my life...I fear that I have not done, or given, or been enough. I fear that I've wasted time, or opportunities - precious moments that may not come again. I told her to be brave, to not fear failure like I've always done...I told her to chase her dreams and learn about lots of things. I told her that what matters now is watching her grow and helping her find her way, and that if I've touched a few people along the way then I know I've done what I was put here to do. I know I often give opinions without really researching them. I know I often share too much and then regret it. I know I often interrupt rather than let others just speak. I know I often feel the need to fill a space so I say something even if it means saying something pointless or unnecessary. But...I also know I love. And I just pray that somehow that love will overshadow all that other junk in the end. And, if she gets nothing else from me, I pray she will always love and extend grace especially when giving her opinion, or speaking without real thought, would be easier.