Friday

Who Will I Be?

My eight year old is changing.

She has always been strong and independent.  As a toddler, she pushed away my hand and refused extra help.

Once she started school, she hugged me in the car, but not in front of her friends.

But lately, I've noticed a difference.

She hasn't been able to get enough of me.

At first, I didn't note the little things.  She was a bit more affectionate, emotional and needy.

It was a little more obvious when she started clinging to me and asking me not to leave at night for my random coffee with friends.

Last week, she asked to sleep in one of my old t-shirts.  I thought it was funny, but harmless, so I let her have her pick.

Four days ago she asked if we could dress alike for church and begged for me to wear her glittery lip gloss. (I did and was surprised by the yummy flavor!)

Yesterday, she curled up in bed with me, wrapping her arms tightly around my chest and asked if we could snuggle.  She mumbled something about loving my "mommy smell" and buried her face in my neck.

Okay.  She had my full attention.  All the little things had formed one big thing.

We talked and giggled and I discovered that my little girl was transforming into a big girl.  We've seen a touch of moodiness and some tears.  But even more, a deep questioning of who she will be.

And she's looking at one person.

Gulp.

She is watching me so closely.  I can feel the sideway glances and can sense her desire to mirror me. Her hand is reaching for mine like a tiny child.

I feel like I'm a good mom, far from perfect, but the Mom I'm supposed to be.  But when I think about her wanting to emulate me, I falter, a little.

I'm a little impatient.  And I'm too quick to speak, and slow to listen.  I am vain about some things that don't matter and I complain about some of my responsibilities.  I yell too much and don't pray often enough.  

When I see my daughter wanting to be like me, I have to ask myself one question:

Am I what I want my daughter to be?

And I feel challenged to be the best, not only for my children, but for me.  I want to live everyday to the fullest and accomplish my dreams, that are separate from my role as Mom.

My life is not over; it has just begun. 

My daughter wonders who she will be.

And so do I.

Food for the Soul:
I Timothy 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

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43 comments:

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

It really does wake us up a little when we realize how closely our children are watching us. I want to be a godly example, not perfect, but striving to do better.

♥Merrianne♥ said...

Wow Kristen...join my club! my daughter is 10 and i remember when she first started doing things like that. It actually scared me at first....like something was going to happen....but She was just Growing up....It's BitterSweet isn't it??

You seem like a Great Mom...really you do. Just keep up the good work and she will be a Wonderful Young Lady :)

this post is totally pulling on my heart strings!♥

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I suspect your daughter has a pretty fantastic role model right there in front of her eyes. I think if she turns out like you, we have another fantastic woman in the making.

Hallie

LifeatTheCircus said...

Wow! I think the bond you and your daughter have is truly special. This post reminds me of a song by "Phillips Craig and Dean" called He Wants to Be Like Me. It is song by a Dad talking about his son, but you get the gist... The father prays, "Lord I want to be just like you, cause he wants to me like me." We used it in a video collage we made for our sons first birthday. It chokes me up every time I hear it.

Jessica D. said...

Wow, my daughter just turned 8 in May. I've noticed things like extra hugs, More I love yous! Can I was a dress like you today? I never thought of it this way, How sad, she is growing up. Thanks for the eye opener.

The Apron Queen said...

Whatever you do... do NOT blink! :D The time goes too quickly. And before you know it you're standing there watching your "baby" fill out college applications.

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

bunchofbull-ers! said...

I am moved to tears as I read this. I was thinking & praying about these almost exact words last night. And was quite over-whelmed with my failures. Thanks for your encouragement & reminder that I am not the only mom who yells, is impatient, or complains about 'stuff'. You are a blessing blog friend.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

The Fritz Facts said...

Oh I am dreading this already. I know how hard it will be when Boo finally hits the age when she wants to be like me, and I wish her to be better. To learn from me, see how I changed my life and be better.

Such a wonderful post. You always capture the moment so perfectly.

World's Greatest Mommy said...

This is a beautiful introspective view.

My eight-year-old and I are going through this. We got a book to talk about the coming physical and emotional changes, but suddenly she wants to help do everthing I do. She volunteers to help me clean out the pantry, take her sister to the bathroom, bake cookies, hang up clothes...but only when I'm doing them to.

I haven't hugged her close in awhile. I think she's so independent and grown up, but she's still on the verge of growing up. There may be just enough little girl left to squeeze and hold for a few more moments.

franticallysimple said...

Last night my daughter wouldn't let me kiss her goodnight. She had a friend over to spend the night.
I couldn't believe how much it hurt. I even cried. A little.
(Although I am PMSing pretty hard right now.)
What a great question to think about. Am I the woman I want my daughter to be? I hope I can be.

jamie in rose cottage said...

That is a hard question, but sure one all of us moms (and dads!) need to ponder. Am I who I want my child to be? Not exactly! But I sure hope to be the best me I can be.

Tonya said...

I love how you could tell it was something more going on with her!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

That is SUCH a great reminder. Thank you!

By the way, I have a "THAT" picture up today :) I'm sure you can relate.

Jenn said...

As I was reading this my 2-year-old daughter got up from her nap and I was snuggling her. She too, tends to be pretty independent, so I take whatever snuggle time I can get.

I have seen my older son wanting to spend more time with his dad. Wanting to emmulate him. It is an awesome responsiblity that God has given us as parents. Good thing he comes along beside us, because we too easily drop the ball.

Leanne said...

Think of the people your daughter could choose to emulate. I think you'll find your more than happy she chose you. Yelling sometimes and a lack of patience are such small things and probably not even ones she notices or copies. She wants to help you with all that you do. When she looks at her mommy she sees a woman who carries her family though the day, albeit from one day to the next (we are only human after all), someone who cares for her and loves her very much. The love you have for your children is obvious and this will come through in all your actions. I wouldn't sweat the little things.

Cassandra said...

I totally relate. And its on my mind almost all the time...am I being a good example? or am I messing her up? Will she be proud because I am her mom or need counseling because of it? And it goes by in a blur it seems. You captured it sweetly. :)

Valarie said...

I question myself daily on whether I have done the things I should have for my girls. I know I haven't, I see them taking on some of my bad habits. I also see them making good habits of their own.

I can only pray that I have taught them the things they need, to go out into the world. It scares me with Jessie about to be 18. I feel like she is so not prepared, but then again I know she is. Then I look at Sydney and I want to make sure that whatever I did not do well with Jess, that I do well with her. Then I see myself overwhelming her with information. In the end they are Gods, and I pray everyday that they will be who He wants them to be.

twithhoney said...

Princess is only 3 and I've already had the crushing realization that she wants to be just like me. The pressure, huge!

The good thing is that we both realize that our daughters are looking up to us, that we are paying attention to the example we are setting and that we are praying and trusting in God's help to be the best mother that we can be.

Tammy said...

I have been raising a "Miss Independence" for 7years now, this coming Tuesday. She is completely a daddy's girl, which sometimes hurts my feelings.

She sat (on) with me in my chair today and held my hand. She was giving away kisses, just for me. And then she asked, "when is daddy gonna be home."

It was nice. :-)

Penny Raine said...

scaary being a parent huh? our oldest got married a couple months ago and just now found out she is expecting.... we are all overjoyed ... yet it was just yesterday she was little..... I remember when she as 8
hmmmm

blessings, Penny Raine
http://www.pennyraine.com/blog

nottryingforaboy said...

Excellent food for thought and always entertaining. You have a great gift for writing.

Genny said...

Oh this is so beautiful! I completely know what you mean. My daughter recently turned nine and I've seen some of the same things. What a touching post you wrote!

Bubba's Sis said...

I love this! And how wonderful that you are SEEING her looking to you as a role model, because too many parents don't, and they end up NOT being the kind of role model they want their children to have! Then all they can do is look back and say, "If I'd only...."

Shelle said...

I think just because you noticed and care makes you an excellent mom! My daughter's three going on 23...so I've started early to ask my self that same question!

buckatwos@gmail.com said...

I can't think of any one else that is a better example for her to emulate. You evidentally have her heart, and that is so important as kids get older.

You are doing a great job!

The Park Wife

Becoming Me said...

Wow. Wonderful post. Your writing is so lovely. This hits home to me. I can see so often how my four year old looks to me for portions of her identity. Wonderfully written.

RR Mama said...

How wonderful! My seven year old son is acting the same way. Wanting me to snuggle or read a book with him. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and enjoy my children before they grow up. Thank you for also reminding me if I want my children to grow up and be great parents then I need to try and show them how to be one through my actions.

Happy Mommy said...

Oh my, wise words to ponder! I see how my daughter imitates me, harmless at 2 but I too can be impatient, and very quick to speak...

auds at barking mad said...

...and they don't stop watching either. As much as I think my eighteen year old pushes me away and pulls from the invisible strings which attach her to me, she watches. She listens. She emulates...not always what I want her to, but she does.

Her world is changing as she heads off to college and I hope what she's seen has given her the faith in herself to be the person she can be and to never falter in her walk with Him.

Muthering Heights said...

What a great reminder to glorify God in all that you so, so that your daughter will seek to do so also! No one's perfect, but you're just the right mommy for your little ones...God chose you to teach your little lady. How special! :)

Marni Tiani Self said...

You always have great food for thought.

Joy said...

This brought tears to my eyes. My oldest is still a preschooler so I can't say I relate. But it definitely helps me to realize that TODAY is the day to change. Not tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

Kirstin said...

Oh boy! That is so true!! My girls are 12 and 9. Wow....I'm at a loss for words, this totally hits home.

Marilyn @ A Mixed Bouquet said...

It's so much fun to watch them grow into adults. I no longer have little ones, but I miss the fun people they were. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the adults they've become...

Enjoy every minute...it's gone in a flash.

LifeatTheCircus said...

I liked this post so much that I linked to it in the comments section of my Weekend Thoughts
this week. Thanks again for sharing!!

Gigi said...

Wow, that's a lot to think about. I'd better start improving now so when my daughter (17 months) gets to that age I'm ready. Thanks for the food for thought.

Kelly @ Pass the Torch said...

Beautiful post. We pass the torch in so many ways, without ever knowing that we're doing it. I feel the same responsibility with my daughter. She's already inherited my faults, but to a lesser degree - and she has gifts far stronger than mine.

It's great that you recognize your influence:)

Runningamuck said...

GULP!! You know, this is always in the back of my mind, buried deep underneath all the mental to-do lists, the decorating ideas, and the things I need to remember to pick up from the grocery store. I just hardly ever dig deep enough to uncover it.

Thanks for digging deep enough for the both of us. It is a VERY important thing to remember. In fact, I might just bump it up to the top of the things running rampant in my brain... then I'll just have to explain why I forgot to pick up dinner ingredients from the grocery store...

Thanks for the reminder. =0)

Lisa J said...

Wow, that really touched my heart. My daughter is grown, I tried very hard to be a good mother, and I think I was. I hope as she grows into womanhood that I can see her for the wonderful woman she has become. No she is not a copy of me, but I see her tender heart, and her courage that I never had. I hope she does well in life being herself. I WISH I would of/ could of done more for her. She will be fine, I love you my dear daughter, I hope you always remember that.

blessedwith5 said...

OUCH!!! Boy does this hit home! Those little eyes watch everything and those little ears hear everything. I really notice this in my two year old - Monkey see, monkey do!

D... said...

This is just perfect! One of things I love about being a mother is wondering who my children will be. Sometimes it's scary to think about but mostly, it's fun.

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Wow.

Danielle said...

Wow Kristen, now I'm bawling....my daughter is just about to turn two and I am already dealing with this...she looks just like me and I'm so aware that I have to be an example for her but I thought that overwhelming sense of needing to be better for her sake would slowly fade or the law of familiarity would settle in and I would forget about that responsibility....it's nice (and scary) to know that it remains present when they're 8, 10 and probably on up....Thanks for the reminder!
Danielle