I was thinking today about how much “easier” my 10 year-old seems to be than some of my other four children. Well, most of them. Of my five children, my son is easy compared to his dramatic sisters. But my 10 year-old daughter (I realize the hormones haven’t kicked in yet) is also in the easy category. At least that’s how it seems. Reality check: I think it has more to do with me and my parenting her than it does with how different she might be.
All of my kids are great and have wonderful strengths, and I’ve enjoyed them all. I’d be lying if I said I enjoy them all the time, because there have been times when they’ve been downright hard to like. And there have been times when I wanted so badly to retire from motherhood. There have been fearful times, angry times, embarrassing times, disappointing times — but when I look at the bigger picture, the laughter, hugs, love, and enjoyment transcend the hard things. And all of those times are what make up the depth of our relationships. My hope is that we’ll all look back sooner than later and see that we’ve come a long way and that we really do have a loving family.
Back to my 10 year-old. She’s just a great kid. I know I’m not as hung up in making sure I do everything right, that she does everything right, that she turns out as “good” as our neighbor’s kid, that she always gives the right Sunday school answer. I’m just glad she’s part of our family. I think learning to relax as a parent has been a good thing for me, but especially for her. Not that we disregard discipline, rules, etc. But there just isn’t the underlying expectation on myself or on her to be the perfect mother and perfect daughter. That alone is probably the best thing for both of us.
Maybe I’ll be updating this blog in a few years once those hormones have taken over. We’ll see. But for now, I’m just enjoying the gift God has given me with her and am so very thankful for the time we’ve had. I just pray I can be as much of a blessing to her as she is to me…