When you are young and care-free you have little to worry about. Of course it doesn’t feel like this at the time, but then hindsight – is a powerful thing.
When you are young, you wake up in the morning and you wonder what the day has in store for you. You have small worries about friendships and school, or whether you like your sibling on that given day. You might even dare to dream about growing up and what you might become – that you may get married or perhaps start a family of your own one day.
As you grow older though, your worries as a girl can change to those of self-esteem and body image. In my teenage years there were so many things I did not like about myself (and perhaps I still don’t). You worry about whether your hair is the right type, or if your features are the right shape – your weight – or even your skin tone.
All of these thoughts you tend to grow out of as you mature, and silly things such as not ‘liking’ your hair tend to pale into insignificance when you realise that one day you might lose it. If only it didn’t take a life changing event to make you cherish your features and the bits that make you unique. The old adage, ‘Be careful what you wish for’, springs to mind.
Then when you have a daughter of your own everything seems to ‘shift’ a bit.
You can’t put your finger on exactly what it is, but something changes you as a person. You no longer care about the things that bothered you before, but rather you channel every bit of your energy into helping them grow into the person that they will become.
There are many things that you wish for on her behalf. You want for her to be free more than anything.
Free to choose her own path in life, free to have her own ‘likes’ regardless of prejudice or ignorance. Freedom to express herself in whatever she chooses to do, and whomever she chooses to be – and most of all not to let others change her. Freedom to not be worried about the insignificant things and to hopefully learn from her own mistakes.
As your daughter, they often look at you and you see yourself in them – almost like a little reflection. The glint in the eye, the zest for life and the sparkling energy that they are filled with. I sometimes find myself looking too closely and getting too serious nowadays – but straight away my little girl blows a raspberry in my face and turns to run away as if to say ‘you can’t catch me!’
One evening recently she said to me as I tucked her in;
“Mummy don’t ever, never leave me” just before she closed her eyes, to which I replied “Of course I won’t”, and then I asked, “Why?” but it was too late as she had already drifted off into her dreams.
But I know why, I know the answer to my own question – it is because she won’t be the same person if I am not here. The girl lives and breathes me, and sometimes I almost wish she didn’t because one day I will need for her to be strong on her own.
Of course she will be fine eventually if that day comes, and she will live her life to the full I am sure – but she will always have a miss in her heart, like something is not there.
There is a very strong connection between a mother and daughter and if it is ever to be broken, one of you has to be strong enough to pass it on.