The Mother-Daughter Thing

This picture popped up on Facebook today. A memory from 3 years ago.

3 years of Annie Bea.
Coming up on 4 years.

Makes me think about life before I had a daughter verses life now.

I’m not gonna lie. When I had Grady, I was relieved. A boy. Thank you, God. It was exactly what I wanted. It just felt easier to me. Boys love their moms unconditionally. There’s nothing a mom can do wrong in the eyes of her son. In my mind, having a boy was an automatic parenting success story. He will always adore me. He will hold me on a pedestal. I win.

Kinda ugly to admit. But you know what? I was right.

For 6+ years, Grady has loved me fiercely. Even when he gets mad and throws a tantrum and screams, “I hate you!” – I see the tears in his eyes almost immediately. He doesn’t mean it. He comes running to me and hugs me and says he’s sorry and wants nothing more than my love. It’s that simple.

So when I found out we were having a girl the second time, I panicked. Oh God. I can’t do it. The Mother-Daughter Thing. It’s thick. It’s complicated. It’s intertwined. It’s a lot.

And sure enough, Annie Bea has proven me right. And wrong. And right. And wrong, again.

She’s so strong-willed. So smart. So intuitive. She has an opinion on what I wear. She comments on my hair. She likes things a certain way. And only that way. She makes faces at me when I talk. She refuses. She fights. She provokes.

When I look at Annie Bea, I see a girl who thinks deep. She has powerful feelings and distinct opinions. She can evaluate a situation. She can read a room. She can (and she will) speak her mind. But only when she’s ready. And that’s a gift.

Annie Bea is beautiful. She’s focused. She’s bright. She’s got style and attitude and energy.

And I’m so insanely thankful that I had a girl. This girl, in particular.

Because it turns out, the Mother-Daughter Thing is precisely the thing that’s going to keep me cool. And sharp. And in check. I will have to learn to appreciate Annie’s opinions over my own. I will let her open my mind to new ways of doing things. I’m going to stay on top of fashion and pop culture and music and relationships and ideas… because I have Annie Bea.

Man. Look at all the pressure I’m putting on Annie. It’s up to her to keep me fresh. And Grady? What do I expect from him? Hugs.

The Mother-Daughter Thing. It’s a bitch.

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