“Steady as a preacher, free as a weed, Couldn’t wait to get going, but wasn’t quite ready to leave, So innocent, pure, and sweet Like American honey…” (American Honey, Lady Antebellum)
She doesn’t care that little girls are supposed to wear hair bows and headbands. She doesn’t care that her hair’s not brushed smooth or all the tangles are underneath. She doesn’t care for ponytails or short hair because they make her look like a boy.
She says “It’s fine, Momma! My hair likes to be loose!”
She doesn’t care that her boots on the outside of her pants. She doesn’t care that she’s wearing boots with a skirt. Or a dress. Or shorts. Or without socks.
She says, “It’s fine, Momma! I gotta go!”
She doesn’t care that she’s wearing a skirt and climbing through a fence, over a gate, onto a trailer…She doesn’t care that she’s wearing “sweatshirt-pants” with stained knees and a school-uniform polo shirt and a wool sweater and cowboy boots to go to the grocery store.
She says “It’s fine, Momma! They’re my favorite!”
Sometimes parenting seems so complicated. And sometimes it’s just this…Carve out a place in this world where they can grow up slowly, carefully, in their own time, under God’s hand.
Just that. And they’ll be fine.
And I think, “Do you see her, Momma? Isn’t she fine?”
Can I share something with you, from my heart to yours? My daughter is like me in some ways, and very, very different from me in some ways. And sometimes I find myself confused and discouraged when I don’t know how to mesh my expectations with her abilities or needs. And sometimes she finds herself confused and discouraged when she doesn’t know how to meet my expectations. And sometimes it hurts both our hearts.
For years now, when things get out of whack, we curl up in her bed and read about “Ruby-duck,” the little duckling who did everything later than the rest of the family. Who did everything “in her own time.” When we bought the book on a whim, because of the title, our 3-year-old Ladybug didn’t know why Momma cried every. single. time. we read it together. She just thought it was neat that there was a book with her name in it.
I think our 8-year-old Ladybug knows why.
But she never cries. Know why? Because the last line of the story says, “And, she did.”
We’ve had a busy, challenging couple of weeks and are struggling to finish the school year strong. Together. And I’m feeling the need to curl up with my own little Ruby-duck and remind myself that “She will. In her own time.” Do you have a favorite book you turn too when motherhood gets tough? I never imagined mine would be a children’s storybook, but I guess you’re never too old for the truth.
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