This I believe…
I believe that our children are more than just mini-me extensions of ourselves. In many ways, our children have already evolved beyond our generation’s capacity for knowledge and for empathy.
Everywhere my daughter and I go, people exclaim, “Wow, she is your mini-me!” While I see physical similarities between us, I know that she is so much more than a smaller version of me. She is so much more than I was at 9 years old, and she is already more than I am at the age of 41.
My daughter awakens joy-filled, smile-ridden and eager for a new day that is rife with blank-page possibilities and fabulous new adventures. I, on the other hand, tend to view the dawn of each day, as another 24 hours to survive. At times, I sullenly wallow in the mountains that have to be climbed, and the battles that need to be fought.
Where I am prone to self-involvement and narcissism, my daughter is a rescuer of wounded mourning doves and playground damsels with skinned knees. She donates money to charities that serve underprivileged children and animals. She is an immaterialistic, non-consuming, rabid recycler.
My daughter is adept at finding the goodness in people and situations, but is equally concerned with fairness and justice for all. She was incredulous and slightly disgusted this election year when I had to explain that some people might not vote for a man with black skin. She sees things the way that they should be, and asks how can we change it. While I tend to be the one to ask “why,” and she counters with “why not?’
While I question the existence of the Loch Ness Monster and George W. Bush, she believes in all things magical…and not just the usual suspects like Santa and the Easter Bunny, either. She not only believes in them; she knows that leprechauns, fairies and pixies, are all around us. This belief system subsequently enables her to embrace and accept people of all different shapes, sizes and color, in the real world.
I was shy and awkward as a child, and still find mingling at parties today to be a form of excruciating torture. She, however, is comfortable in her skin, and socially brave in various circles of people. She performs in plays and piano recitals, in front of audiences of hundreds, with nary a hint of stage fright. My daughter is strong and brave, but she is also the first one in a room to cry happy tears.
More than I, she knows the important things in life aren’t things at all. Her daily bucket list would include, smell (and pick) the flowers, read everything, love hard, laugh often, have fun, and snuggle at least once every day.
My daughter, who is so much more than my mini-me, is well on her way to becoming “maximum her.”
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