The love a parent feels for an 11-year-old is most likely the same love felt for a 50-year-old child...never ending, yet tinged with worry, joy, understanding and compassion.
I wonder if I will ever allow my child to go out with her friends and not be standing on the sidelines worrying. Will I be able to trust that she will always make the right decisions and not be swayed by her peers? I often get a stomach ache when I send her off on a new journey without adult supervision.
As a child I was one to set my own rules, do as I pleased when unsupervised... not because I didn't have guidelines or parents who loved me dearly, because I did. It was just that times were different in the 70's and early 80's.
Remembering some of the things I did, I am afraid that my beautiful daughter could make some missteps along the way.
Chloe is smart and funny. She often tries to parent me while pointing out right from wrong. She is serious in nature, bossy at times (aren't we all), enjoys alone time and reading. A perfectionist by nature, she can be extremely hard on herself. My sweet daughter is kind to younger children and has been known to spontaneously break out into some impromptu dancing or singing.
I have tried to instill in her that she can do virtually anthing she sets her mind to. I want her to lead rather than follow and to stick up for herself and the underdog. I want her to give of her time unselfishly without expecting anything in return. While this all sounds good and should keep her on the right path... I worry that peer pressure during these stressful teen years could tempt her.
I am often told that I am too protective because I don't allow Chloe to do all of the things that her friends get to do. One of my friends teases me about wrapping my only child in bubble wrap each time she leaves the house!
I admit it makes me feel bad, I worry that she will hold resentment, I want to make her happy, but in the next breath I feel an overwhelming desire to protect her from the unknown.
I don't think that children fully understand the love and fear that parents holds in their hearts. Did I mention ... she's our only child?
My child is well aware of the challenges I faced because I have shared my journey and my story with her. At times I feel like I overcompensate because I have lived a rather adventurous life....not sure what else to call it.
When she looks back years from now I want my daughter to be proud of herself and know without question she was loved by her parents.
What legacy will you leave your children? This is a question I ask myself frequently. While this may seem over the top, I have asked Chloe on several occasions, "If I were to die Chloe, what are some important things that I have taught you?" And bless her heart, she usually seems put out but she will ramble off a list: 'be anything you want', 'be a leader', 'blah, blah, blah.' But it gives me the satisfaction that she is listening.
I love my Chloe!
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