My favorite quote (or reminder as I like to think of them)...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (Marianne Williamson - A Return to Love)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stronger than you Seem

"Promise me you will always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~ Christopher Robin

This is one of my all time favorite quotes but I didn't really notice until my girls started growing up. Now I find myself thinking about it all the time. I hope that I have taught them courage and I hope that I have taught them bravery and more than anything I hope I have taught them strength as women.

My mother is the strongest woman I know. She had a horrific childhood including loosing her parents before she was even an adult, got pregnant much too early for a young woman (with me!!), divorced a husband and lost another, does not have any contact with her siblings (part of the horrific childhood), and has a daughter who has been suffering terminal cancer for the last 15 years with the most valiant effort of any human being (dare I say) EVER. I know my sister learned to fight her cancer from my Momma. And I too learned that strength as did my other sisters. We are blessed because of her suffering.

And relatively speaking, I have suffered very little in this life. In fact, I have led a pretty sunshiney life. I am convinced that is because my Ma showed me how to be tough. How not to be a victim. How to take charge of the world and make my way without fear. I hope that I have, and am, teaching that to my girls.

John and I are starting to "let go" as they say as Annie has 4 years left until college. We are starting to teach our girls life lessons that have direct consequence and reward in life. Like making their own decisions - not us making it for them. Not giving our opinions about things that we shouldn't as it should be theirs to choose or decide as they feel so. For instance, next weekend, Annie leaves for band camp (I know, I know...this one time, at band camp....) and I told her that I was not going to help her with her packing but that I would simply check over her stuff before the final put away to see if I may think of something she may have forgotten. She said that she's happy about that, but in a way, not. She wants to do it, but it doesn't feel entirely safe I bet. It also can not feel like your success if you don't do it yourself, nor do I think one learns a lesson unless having suffered the consequence of that lesson.

I'm glad she's happy about it. I think it shows that she is building courage and belief in herself. And I'm glad she's "scared" of it too because I think it shows her respect for me/us and that she trusts in us. Caroline said she is happy at times and at other times not (like she will be soon because she forgot the book she was reading at this house when she left to go to her other one this morning -- I saw it, but what would I be teaching her if I once AGAIN reminded her of it). She's 12, so the lessons are smaller, like forgetting your reading book, but I think children will rise up to the expectations you set for them and become better for having them. That's what I think was key to my success. My mom had a lot of expectations for me and rising to meet those expectations has taught me so much!!

I like the direction that John and I are going in our parenting. I think it is really important for the girls and I wish my generation of parents would stop doing so much for their kids. We do so much for them that we are raising children who can't. I want to raise children who can, will and DO!! And I think that John and I are doing that. They are such little "mules" when it comes to helping us (or anybody) out. They would rather give than receive, of that I am sure and they don't want for much (other than traveling to Mexico to see their "sister" Stefi) and I think they MAY want their whole family to live in one house too -- as long as they still got their own rooms!

I think my children have learned value and I think in a round about way, they can thank Gramma Goo for that for she still struggles with her own worth and value. But I value her more and more every day. And she taught me everyday that I am valuable.

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