I can remember the day when the Captain taught her to ride her bike. I can still hear her screaming, "Don't let go Daddy, not until I am ready!" and I knew he would hang on, "I got you baby girl, I won't." and yet, that was a lie. She wasn't ever really going to be ready, but when he felt she was, without her even knowing, he took his hand away from the seat. Sometimes you have to believe in your child, before they can start believing in themselves. She flew past us,smiling, laughing ,the wind in her hair "Look I'm doing it all by myself!", and just as quickly as her excitement rose, off she toppled to one side skinning her knees, her elbows, her face,"I told you I wasn't ready!" screaming through the tears. In a split second we went from her hero's to zero's!
We ran towards her, checked her over, and once the tears dried, "Do you want to try again?" We can see her contemplating it. This is the moment when you get a glimpse of what your child is going to be like in their future self. Will she let her pride stop her, or will she push towards her goal? Will she manipulate the drama to her advantage? We wait. She doesn't smile, a simple "Yes, I can do it." she stood ready for more. It would take her five more tries, more scrapes, more bruises, but when she finally did it, she would wear those scars proudly! Fast forward ... now,we are teaching her to drive..
As I look back onto her life, I can't recall an age or stage that I have not truly enjoyed. She has brought so much joy, love and laughter into my life. My daughter has taught me about myself, my limits and my courage. She has shaped me into the woman I was called to be. She humbles me,strengthens me, and encourages me to be a better person. She challenges me, tests me, and sometimes enrages me. My daughter gave me something to fight for, her.
As she continues to grow into the woman she is to become,and time continues to speed by, I daydream about all the possibilities, and opportunities that await her. I have no fear of the path she will choose, opportunities she will take, or challenges she will face. Because, along the way we will be holding on to the back of the seat, and we wont let go until we know that she is ready. And then we will watch her fly,with the wind in her hair, smiling and laughing, grabbing on to her dreams,wherever they may take her.