I love to watch her play. Alone or with her brothers, it doesn’t matter-she amazes me. I call her “Goose”, for it reflects both the silliness that dances within her, as well as the subtle grace that I know will one day take flight.
Yet there was once a time when I was terrified that she was to enter my life. A daughter.
Not that she was unwanted-far from it! Her very presence helped to ease the pain of losing the one before her, the numbing loss of a child unborn but forever felt. She was loved before we even knew she existed.
I simply didn’t know what to do with a girl. I was more used to boys with their rough and tumble ways-their little versions of manliness. I was comfortable with them because I did not feel the crushing weight of modeling an honorable man to them. I was a woman, and could guide, teach, and love them, but could never fulfil the role of father and man in their lives.
But I was having a daughter.
And I found myself very much afraid.
How do I teach her about being a woman when I have barely begun figuring that out for myself? How do I save her from pain I know she will face? How do I protect her from being used and manipulated, from knowing the same horrors I had to battle? How do I guide her? Teach her? Love her the way she needs to be loved?
The truth is, I can’t.
I can’t save her from pain. I can’t protect her from all that would harm. I can’t teach or guide, or even love, her perfectly. I won’t be able to model the perfect godly woman to her, for I am not perfect.
But I can love her imperfectly. I can show her a sinner saved by grace striving to be more like Christ each day. I can show her failure and forgiveness. I can teach her to arm herself against evil from both the seen and unseen worlds. I can show her beauty in simplicity.
I can be her mother.
Goose will be four soon. If I could simplify everything I wish she could know right now down to three truths, here is what I would want her to know:
- Return to God. Always. Every day. Nothing is satisfying aside from Him.
- Your worth is just as great as your brothers.
- In this world kindness is seen as weakness, honor as folly, and sweetness as naiveté. Never believe it. Virtues are given to us for strength.
I am forever grateful that I am not my daughter’s perfect model in this life.
And I am forever grateful that I am blessed to be her mother.