My baby girl turned five this past weekend. As with every year, I’ve become quite emotional. I am going to be completely vulnerable and state that I was completely scared out of my mind when we found out we were having a girl. So many doubts in my ability to raise her surfaced. With Jonah, it was different. I experienced an entire different realm of fear, embarking into an unknown territory of motherhood. I feel there’s so much pressure put on the female gender these days. Socially and emotionally, in work or play. Having dealt with self criticism and a negative body image for several years, I worry if I have what it takes to lead her in the right direction – a road opposite of the one I took. I am not proud of the woman I once was, letting the world’s view of who I was and who I should be take over. I suffered from an eating disorder for several years and got to the lowest of lows mentally. Who was I to raise a daughter and stress the importance of learning to value herself, see the truest of beauty within, and hold a strong confidence that I, myself, lacked? Fear crept in, understandably so.
She came, as beautiful (and quick) as ever. I wrote her birth story here, and love to re-read it each year to remind myself of how far I’ve come as Ellie’s Momma. I am reminded to view this gift He gave me with grace, trusting that He knew in my ability to raise her. It’s fitting that Grace is her middle name. And notably states the confidence I lacked in myself, He held it.
I love her for so many reasons. We have more similarities than differences. She hates sweets (with the exception of vanilla ice cream) and wont even bat an eye for a piece of candy. She’s creative, plays independently well, and has the most colorful imagination. She’s particulate on how her clothes fit, and has developed quite the style. A while back at one of our numerous Target runs, I was choosing a few new pieces for school and she bluntly told me, ‘That’s not my style, Mom’. I may or may not have questioned my own style preference and age right then and there. But she is her Mother’s daughter, staking her fashionable sense at an early age.
Tho blonde hair and blue eyed, she is completely my ‘mini-me’. Stubborn as all get out, independent, and hard willed. There’s something about the way she smiles, talks, thinks that remind me of exact instances when I was her age. I know her thought process. In truth, it scares me each and every time, knowing the opinions of others will increase and the world will become ever so present as she gets older. It’s a Mom’s merry-go-round, but I’ll be a proud carni if it steers her away from any self doubt or compromise.
Furthermore, it all comes full circle with her curiosity mimicing my own as a child. Growing up, I’d ask as many questions as I could muster, even ones when I knew the answer. I’ve learned it’s her way (and mine) of checking in. Making sure I am here, and present. So as frustrating as it can be, I’ll continue to answer her silly asks and ensure her importance. I’ll add tho, I now fully understand my own mother’s answer threshold.
I know she is just five. I know she has a beautiful life ahead of her, with sky high opportunity to achieve her highest dreams, wherever she wants to. And I know comprehending all my reasonings for worry is far from her mind. These emotions run vividly every July, as I imagine they will for many years to come. But am so grateful that despite any fear of parenting failure, He knew in my ability five years ago to redirect my focus. Teaching her to steer clear of harsh opinion and negative thought would involve me consistently doing the same.
He knew she’s what I needed. This curly haired, blonde beauty diva, with the most compassionate soul is the perfect fit. She’s the one who has given me the confidence that I once lacked. Happy Birthday, my sweet Ellie Grace. Guess I’ve grown up right alongside You.[shopr_shopthepost collection=”ellie-post”]