Thursday, July 25, 2013

Darling Daughter

When my kids were younger, especially when the younger boys still took naps, Olivia and I often had some planned girl-only time together. When she was in public school, we would sit on her bed while the boys napped and we'd talk about her day and such, and other times we would do a little craft or bake. As time went by, we began having little afternoon outings together and even enjoyed an overnight stay in Santa Barbara one summer. Somehow, as life increasingly filled up and our schedules became less flexible, our intentional girl time became less frequent. We have often lamented this fact, and look to make up for it by spontaneously stealing away for a few moments when we can.

Yesterday we slipped away to my room while the boys played with their airplanes and constructed hangers and airports. She had recently lost an earring and wanted to see what options I might have. She tried on a few things and we looked at some pieces we've inherited from her great grandmother. And because we like how jewelry pieces have stories, she eventually wanted to know all their histories: rings I wore in high school, including a graduation ring I regret asking my parents to buy; pendants I've had from early childhood/toddlerhood; pieces given to me from Jon, starting from before we were married; gold rings I had a habit of finding on sidewalks and restaurants; watches she remembers me wearing even before Michael was born; costume jewelry gone out of style; large plastic bobbles strung together by pre-school boys; and a "crystal" hanging on a rusty chain from Michael. We modeled some combinations for each other, sometimes joking and sometimes for an honest opinion, and she left with a few things to add to her own collection.

I savor these moments.

Although I am thankful that overall we have similar tastes, I am increasingly aware of the fact that she is forming her own preferences and style. It's really neat to watch, and I have to be careful to encourage her in this. I want her to be confident, strong enough to form her own opinions as she tests out new options. Last week she picked out a shade of blue nail polish, definitely not the color I preferred, but I smiled and told her it was a really fun color. Nail color may not seem like a big deal, but she wants to please me and she would have quickly second-guessed herself. I occasionally see moms trying to conform their daughters to their own likeness; I think it's dangerous, and the consequences may not be fully expressed until adulthood. Perhaps this is especially tempting to mothers of only one daughter. I am beginning to see a need to remind my girl that we are created in God's image, the God who is supremely creative and who delights in our individuality. In addition, we are to strive for conformity to Christ's likeness, not mom's. I want her to bloom, fully becoming the person God made her to be; I don't want to be a restraining factor in any way.

A couple weeks ago, Jon and the boys were invited to go off-shore fishing, so Olivia and I enjoyed several lovely hours of 'girl time' together. So sweet. We had a few things to do since it was the day before Jon's birthday, but we took a good couple hours just to be.

First we went to a local chocolate shop for a few choice truffles. Of course we had to. After that it began to drizzle rain, a strange and unexpected event for July in SoCal, so we perused little boutiques and shops instead of walking along the seawall. Later, as we drove between errands, we had comfortable conversation. They were some of the "big" ones.

I had privately prayed beforehand for our time together, not wanting to squander opportunities, neither wanting it to be too heavy and uncomfortable. And because He loves us and answers our prayers, God was so very gracious.

A darling daughter she is. What a privilege it is to raise a daughter, especially when she is a gem like this one!



  1. So proud to call her my first grandchild. I love this girl !!!!

  2. She is such a delight. She actually reminds me so much of you.

    I love that chocolate shop. My brother works there!


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