Sometimes I think maybe I just chalk BG up to being a "Daddy's girl" far too often and I often forget the influence that I, her mother, have on her.
Too often lately, BG says and does things that are straight out of my mouth and actions. The way she talks to the cat, the "you're making me nuts" statements, and even the way she dresses are becoming more and more influenced by me.
The other day she came sauntering out of my room with one of my b*ras wrapped around her. After I died laughing, I asked her to take it off to which she replied "No Mama! I have to wear this like you!". And it hit me; every single second that she is awake, she is watching her Dad and I. Right now, she is with me 24/7 which basically means that 24 hours a day, I am on stage. I have an audience.
Everything I do, she takes in. It is a huge, and slightly terrifying, realization. And while I didn't just figure this out, the older she gets, the more this fact smacks me right in the face.
How do I want her to respond to situations? To disappointment? How do I want her to display that she is upset? I know too often when I get mad I shut down and get really mean to those I care about the most and I do not want that for her. I want her to know how to share what she's feeling in a healthy, and respectful, way.
Right now our church is doing a study on women and it is far too often hitting so close to home. See I have a past, and while some parts are pretty and unicorny, some parts are downright dark and very, very ugly. And it terrifies me more than anything on this planet that my little girl might someday make some of the decisions her Mama made.
I made it through to the other side (obvs), but it wasn't without a lot of hurt and a lot of destruction to myself and to many others. Thankfully I do love a God who wiped that slate clean and I'm no longer hindered by my past, but it's still there. And I think because of that, I am more determined to show BG a way to stay out of that.
Every single thing she takes in. My words, my actions, the way I love her Dad, the way I love my God, the way I dress; she takes it in.
Before an actor goes on stage, there are hours and hours of prep work. There are weeks of learning lines, there are multiple practices, and there is hair and make up. To me, my hours of quiet time with my Father, my talks with her Dad, my runs, and even my time with my friends are my "before show necessities". Those things make me ready to show her the kind of woman she should be. Those are my prep work.
I'm not perfect. Nor will I ever be. I snap far too often. I yell. At her, at her Dad, at the animals. I have a very short temper and I lose it often. I've made her cry multiple times because I have done something to upset her. I'm not perfect.
But when those things happen, it's up to me to swallow my pride, apologize to whom I have wronged, and to work to make things right. Because that's what should be done and because she also needs to know that I am not perfect, but I do try very, very hard to do what is right.
The responsibility of raising a daughter sometimes buries me. It seems so hard and when I think too far ahead my chest gets all tight and I simply can't breathe. I've seen some terrible, awful things that I never want her to experience. My constant prayer is for God to guard her heart and for her to find Him early in life.
But in the meantime, she's watching me. Me.
So I get up and do my quiet time. I dress in ways that are appropriate. I engage in activities that I'm okay with her engaging in. I laugh a lot. I run. I hug and kiss her Dad in front of her. I hold her hand. I smile a lot. I go to church with her Dad every week. I make time for "me" time (though not often enough!).
I'm trying. I'm trying to instill self-confidence in a world that tears it down. I'm trying to show a love of God is awesome in a world that says it's not. I try to show that parents love each other in a world where so many kids don't have that. I'm trying.
It's not always easy and I don't always want to do it, but it's always showtime.