The Day I Failed My Daughter
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I knew it from the moment she was born. Well maybe not that moment exactly, but it was soon after, this I know. My girl is a beauty, she always has been as she has a head full of magnificent curly hair, striking features, and eyes that sparkle when she smiles. And my girl? She smiles, a lot.
Although she is as beautiful as the most amazing sunset you have ever witnessed on the outside, she is exquisite on the inside, and after only a few moments with her, this gracious spirit is impossible to miss. She is enchanting, captivating, and a true gem, especially since she has been emerging from the little girl chrysalis that used to contain her.
My girl, with her striking glorious wings as sparkling and striking as the most amazing stained glass window, also has zest for life that is completely contagious and a personality that draws others near as though she is equipped with a magnetic field.
This is what makes me hang my tail between my legs…because I know all of these things to be true about her, and I have totally failed her as her mother today.
Before you think I’ve totally missed the boat on all things teenage girl, let me assure you that we have had “the talk” many times, countless times, in fact, since these things tend to come up when as a mother I haven given birth about every two years like clockwork since this girl has been born. When this is the life she knows, questions like, “how is the baby going to get out of your tummy?” and, “where do babies come from, anyway?” are just a part of daily conversation.
Let’s not forget the fact that the last place I want my children to learn about the beauty of life is from the people and world around them. So we have talked, talked, and then talked some more about these matters.
I love that my girl still talks to me. We talk about teeanger-hood. We talk about friend issues. We talk about girl issues, and we even talk about boys. I know who my girl has a crush on, and it’s been the same boy for the past two years…and I love that he’s really sweet. If I could pick a boy for her to marry, he could very well be it, but let’s not get ahead of things.
So, we’ve covered the bases. All but one, it seems.
In all of our talking about boys, we have talked about how boys can start acting crazy around girls as young as 10…and that when boys pick on a certain girl, when they make fun of a certain girl, and when they are mean to a certain girl, it generally means that the boy likes the girl. We’ve talked about all that backwards stuff about the world of young love.
In our house, we plan on handling the whole dating thing a bit differently, which is a separate topic altogether. However, this beauty of mine is only 14, so there is no dating going on here based on that fact alone.
In light of all our talking about the crazy antics of boys when they have a crush on a girl, we’ve talked about a couple of crazy boys who have been playing some of these things out in real life when they’ve been around my sparkling diamond of a girl. For this reason, it didn’t really surprise her when his “entourage” asked her out on his behalf today.
But, here comes the total fail on my part.
When she came home and told me of this event, I asked her what she said…what she did.
I was so ashamed at what she said, at what she did. That’s the mom fail part.
What did she do?
She was mean. My gentle, sweet, sensitive girl was mean to his “entourage” in her response. She was dismissive, she was harsh, and she was downright rude in what she said, and it is totally my fault.
When I asked her what in the world possessed her to answer in this way, she said, “I knew he liked me, but I was still so caught off guard, and since we had never talked about how to handle this kind of situation, I didn’t know what else to do.”
That. Right there. Mom fail. Total mom fail. By her unkind treatment, she crushed that boy’s heart, and that is not what this boy, or any boy, deserves.
I was quick to correct her, reminding her that even though she has no interest whatsoever, she is to be gracious. One of my greatest desires for all of my daughters is that they are gracious in all things.
All of my girls have the most amazing spirits. They are thoughtful, selfless, and eager to help others, at least most of the time, and I am so proud of who they are. Every single one of them. And most of the time, they are gracious.
So what about my girl? We talked about what she needed to say to make the situation right. Can I just say, too, that it was even her idea to “take back” the things she said in order to say something kind instead.
Without any hesitancy, my girl took care of her wrongdoing, and she did it with – grace.
While I realize that we as parents can’t possibly cover all the bases proactively concerning our kids, this is one base I should have covered.
When I was growing up I was a tom-boy. I liked paying sports, I liked playing with matchbox cars, and I never wanted much to do with all of the girl drama whether it was all the judging, worrying about wearing the right clothes, or caring whether my lipstick matched my purse. I was kind of like one of the guys, so my friends were mainly guys.
At times the guys who were my friends mistook my friendship for something else, which then allowed their hearts to wander to places that they may not have otherwise. So there were times, many times with my “boy friends,” that I learned to be sensitive toward young men who are brave enough to bare their souls in pursuit of the woman they think they love.
I knew better than to fail my daughter in this. I feel like I left her high and dry in a situation that made her so uncomfortable that she became something she is not. Someone she is not. However, as in most things, I am so thankful that we talked, she understood, and she took action in the way that I asked her to.
The exciting part for me, is that I have another daughter, two of them in fact, and I won’t ever have to say that I failed my daughter in this again since isn’t it generally the firstborns who are the ones to make us parents?
I am a firstborn. I can say this 🙂
The bonus for you is that you now don’t have to miss the boat on this either.
Now, I guess we sit back and we wait for the next time a potential suitor comes knocking on my girl’s door, but I know that this time, she will remain true to the radiant beauty roots that made them fall for her in the first place.
And maybe, we need to get a shotgun.
I love this post. 🙂 I’m not yet a mom – I’m praying for many kiddos someday in the future. I am in school to become a counselor, though, and your words are refreshing to read. So often I hear about kids who have no idea about the beauty of life & love, no willingness to share with their parents, and no clue how to handle moments such as this. It’s sweet to read a story where your girl learned & made it right. That’s no momma fail.
I’d love to invite you to post this article or others on a new linkup some friends & I are hosting – 100 Happy Days. You can find it at my website, http://www.lifeofscoop.com, if you’re interested.
Thanks again for sharing! I appreciate your vulnerability. 🙂
Hi Alison! Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree, I did get it right the second time around so I certainly ended on a good note! I will look into your linkup, thanks for inviting me!
I’m glad to see that you are raising a lady!
The world needs more ladies, doesn’t it?! I truly want my girls to be gracious. I think that would be the one word I would choose for them.
I read this expecting a lesson on body image or how to be a strong woman… which clearly your doing great teaching both. I bet your daughters are wonderful. But on behalf of my son and mothers of sons in America I just want to say, thank you. The world is so busy trying to bring up women that men are being left behind, even torn down. Today I watched the Disney chanel with my kids… a Comercial on Sophia the first and why she’s strong and brave, then one on all the princesses and how their strong and brave, then a barbie Comercial (a S.T.E.M barbie) … nothing for my son. Nothing to teach him to be brave or fair or nice or proud. I’m scared women are starting to belive we don’t need men and that dating rules are being changed. Thank you so much for considering the boys feelings and heart and teaching your girls to be ladies… I hope one day my son will find a good girl like one of your daughters one who will see him and consider how he feels.
Ugh. As a mom of 4 boys, I so agree with you. I am so concerned about the way society is teaching our girls to think of men. I am so concerned that my little boys who are 5 and under will be totally expendable by the time they are adults. Then there is my teen boy who already struggles to not be viewed as “stupid.” I have no idea how to fix this problem. Well I do, but I don’t think most would be in favor. I so wish I was living in the 1800s…thanks for taking the time to comment. I know there are great young women out there. My girls have some amazing friends. I think our boys will just have to work a little harder to find them 🙂
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