Thursday, December 24, 2009

15 Year Old Shoes

Sometime I forget the shoes I used to wear. The awkward ones that didn't quite fit. The laces always seemed to come untied. No matter what the occasion was, they were never quite right for it. The 15 year old shoes are tough to fit in to. Watching my daughter struggle to fit brings back memories of my confusing youth. I see in her the defiant toddler, the confused child and the budding adult all vying for first spot. She's brilliant, lost, insecure, confident, charming and slightly rebellious all at the same time. I remember feeling alone even when surrounded by friends. I remember thinking I wasn't smart and at the same time thinking my mom knew nothing about anything. I remember felling like I had it all together and like life and understanding were slipping through my fingers like sand. Now that I see those "shoes" again, being worn by my daughter, I find I am participating, ever so slightly, in that roller coaster of emotions. My roller coaster isn't quite so steep and twisty as I try to determine how to help her, when to be quiet, when to allow alone time and when to require she participate with the rest of the family and the world. It's hard to know when I should help her tie her shoes because she's so exhausted she can't pull the knots tight, or when to let her try again and again to build up her strength and skill. In the moments of rebellion I want to shut down the ride all together and toss those blasted shoes out the window and bring out the toddler shoes and force them on. I miss those days when she called me Honey instead of mom. When she cried because she didn't want to be 100 years old because she'd die:) When she used to eat the little green worms that dropped down from the oak tree or squish lady bugs (who squishes ladybugs?!) But I know the 15 year old shoes must be worn and will someday wear out and be exchanged for adult shoes. Then perhaps we can walk together and grow together until one day we exchange those shoes for wings.

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