Sometimes, I am a little … startled at just how much my daughter, Y, is like me. The similarities are both amazing and a little frightening.
First off, everyone says we look so much alike. Our hair is similar in color, although hers is just a tad bit darker than mine was at her age. And I’ve added so many colors to mine lately, including purple, so who would really know for sure. She has her daddy’s hazel eyes, but her nose and shape of her little round face and her smile, that’s all me.
But that is not what takes me back at times–it is how she just IS. She acts so much like me. I see it. Everyday. Her flair. Her drama. Her sensitive spirit. Her generous heart.
Yesterday morning, Thanksgiving Day, Y did that thing she does, where she has something all planned out in her head. The ceremony of it all. She needed us all to come to the couch and be presented with the Thanksgiving Day gifts she had made for us the day before. I totally get this feeling.
That’s all me.
I used to spend hours making presents for others. For every holiday. I would use any birthday money that I received in cards from my grandmothers to buy supplies to make little knick knack presents for family and friends. Some of these little kitschy gifts still sit on my grandmother’s corner shelf. I love that.
Once, I even went as far as to feign a fever and illness in the 4th grade, so that my Mom would have to come and pick me up early from school. Not so I could go home and watch Luke and Laura on General Hospital. No, I wanted to make some signs and gifts for the new minister and his family arriving at our church. Lame, yes, I know. But still something I did and something I wouldn’t put past Y to do someday.
So, dutifully, we all sat on the couch and were handed our handmade gifts one by one. Her little brother, X, received a word puzzle–little words that need to be put in order to give him a message of sisterly love. It was heartwarming, yes; she is desperate to teach him to read, but he is not ready and she is NOT a patient teacher. Her dad was handed a too cute card with a cut out red heart that read, “My heart is holding your love big time. I love you.” Too, too sweet. Might I mention she has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger when it comes to stuff like this.
And then mine.
Well, she handed me a piece of paper, stapled together to create an envelope. It was decorated with little hearts all over it. I was given the, ahem, very explicit directions as to exactly how to open this, and pull out each slip of paper, one by one. She knows how she wants things done. (I like that about her.)
What came next was just about the best moment a Momma can have. One by one, I pulled out a little slip of paper. On each one, was her precious 7 year old handwriting. On each one, she had written a message. On each one, the message was exactly what this Mom needed to hear.
She pays attention, this one. Almost too closely. She hears everything. She notices everything. Not a thing gets past her. Which is why she must feel so obligated to help others at school, whether they want her help, or her advice, or her reminders, or her admonishment… or not.
So….She knows that I’ve been counting down to my 40th birthday. She knows that I keep a journal. She knows that I have started blogging again.
But what she doesn’t get, yet, is that I pay attention, too. I’ve watched her. I’ve watched her start her own journal. I’ve watched her sneak a peek into mine to see what I do and how I set mine up. She has shared her entries and they seem so … familiar. We have had conversations about how she wants to add a “Joke of the Day” page to my blog. I said I would consider it.
Here are the messages that she gave me, one by one, yesterday, Thanksgiving Day:
You are the best.
I love you a lot.
I love you.
You are the best Mommy.
I like you everyday.
You are nice.
And…then, the last one I pulled out…my absolute favorite; the one that will truly be my theme for my 40th year; the one that will be my mantra; all from my 7 year old daughter, my mirror:
“You are just right.”
She has it figured out. In her own way. At 7.
Thankful. Is just not a big enough word.