I believe in my daughter; who she is at twelve, and who she is becoming. I feel assured by her perceptive nature, and her good heart. What gave me the strength in this conviction is my own mother’s belief in me.
When I was a little girl, I had a neighbor friend I would play with, but when my best friend came over, we were not allowed to play with this neighbor. The neighbor, I suppose, had been labeled a problem child, and often she was in trouble, but it never felt like it affected our friendship. Later on, as a teenager, this girl ended up in a drug rehab center, but when she got out, I was the first friend she called, probably her only friend that did not do drugs.
When I became an adult, and had a daughter of my own, I asked my mother about why, when my best friend was over, we were not to play with the neighbor. She said that my best friend’s mother felt that the neighbor was a bad influence. I asked her why she allowed me to play with her, and she responded, “Because I felt you were a good influence.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.