Sunday, January 8, 2012

To my girls...

I'm an average age Mom, but a young Step Mom. It's no secret that I raise a daughter who is just 12.5 years younger than I am. That's what happens when you marry a man 7 years older and he had a baby in his youth. But here's the thing: I don't feel like I'm any younger than half the Moms raising her friends, because for the most part, I feel pretty up-to-date on her goings & comings. Maybe this IS the age factor... Since I'm closer to her age than the "average" mom is, I have a better recollection of that time in my life. High School. Ugh! It was quite a learning curve for me then, as it has been for her now. Some things I can relate to, but times have changed ALREADY, that in other areas, I have no clue what she is going through.

I do know this: I have quite the prize on my hands. Seriously, I do. My daughter is a gem. A diamond, in fact. Her flaw: she doesn't know it yet. She will one day, but right now, she is still figuring out what she wants and who she is. This is all totally fine. Everybody needs to do this at this age (because it gets rougher when you try to do this later)! So when she asks about dating and boys, and car rides and dances....I get a little nervous. Not because I think she will make bad choices. I get nervous because I am afraid she will settle. I'm afraid she will accept an offer that isn't as good as she could have gotten. I start to feel like I'm watching Howie Mandel on his game show and when the call comes in, she's the girl that takes the low prize amount. But she's starting to see things my way...

Our rule is that for her to "date" someone, as in, go to a movie, a dance, etc., we have to meet him first. We have said their first "date" is at our house for dinner. This serves two purposes: 1.) It weeds out the kids that aren't aware she is good enough to go through the trouble of meeting her parents, and 2.) it allows us to meet the kid (who does understand her worth) and get a sense of where he is coming from and where he plans to go (with our daughter or otherwise). Scenario 1: Boy likes Heather. Boy hears of our rule. Boy comes over for dinner. All is well. They can spend time together and we like him. Scenario 2: Boy likes Heather. Boy hears of our rule. Boy says, "Ugh--meet your parents? I'm not sure I want to do that. That's kind of weird and I'm not really sure I like you that much." Problem solved.

This gives a clear reading for Heather to see a boy's intentions, desires, etc. It also helps them to see that we value HER. We value her so much, and care for her, and love her in such a way that we will weed through these...suitors, if you will...until we can find someone who values her too. It sounds a little like the movie Aladdin and the Sultan's law for choosing his daughter's suitor. But that isn't at all what we are aiming to do. Our goal is to help her learn, during this super (ridiculously) hard time, that she is special. She is a gem. She is a diamond! I'm not sure enough young girls are learning this right now.

We raise 3 girls. Three diamonds. Each of them (yes, Gia is only 8 months but we see lots of potential) possesses such an infinite amount of gifts and each have a heart of gold. We want them to learn to not take the caller with the low prize amount. To wait until they find THEIR prize. Their matching diamond. Hopefully this will be many, many, many years (for all of them) until this happens. But isn't this the point of parenting. To start young. We talk to our infants like they understand and can repeat anything we say. They can't. But they hear things so much that, eventually, they do start to repeat them. This is just one of our assurances to know that our girls will start to repeat: I am beautiful. I am wonderful. I am someone so important and God will help me through struggles.

So yes, I'm a young Step Mom. I raise a daughter who is not only as tall as me (okay, she's got about 2 inches on me now), she is on my heels. Literally. She is only a mere 12.5 years younger than I am which makes me feel like I have even less time to teach her and less time to continue to repeat those nuggets of wisdom that only Moms can do.

My sweet Heather Ann, you and your sisters are so important; not just to your Dad and I. You are important people. I direct this portion to you because your sisters are not old enough to understand. But by the time they can understand this writing, I hope you will understand its meaning. And then you can help me teach them their value. {Highlight of you being a bit older and wiser, huh?!} You are a jewel. You are so precious. And I will wait for the day that you find someone who sees your true beauty and worth. Until then, I can only pray that you will wait with me. I love you.