“Do you think I’ll change much as I get older?” That is what she asked as she was looking in the mirror at herself and brushing her long blonde hair. She had watched her sisters grow up and was wondering if the same was going to happen to her.
I knew what she was getting at but I wasn’t sure how to answer. She was desperate to be taller and look older, sneaking make-up when she could thinking she could make time move faster. She loved when her sister would bring her a bag of hand-me-downs, always thinking that they fit perfectly, especially if they fell off the shoulder a bit.
This young girl is my daughter, not the one I gave birth to, but the one who made me the mom I am by allowing me to parent her and love her unconditionally.
When she was frustrated about situations that were happening in her life I would tell her that life isn’t always fair but you get to choose how you respond. She took that advice and ran with it, showing those around her that life is what you make it – and for her it was going to be beautiful.
My Abigail did grow up right in front of me. She went from a little girl to a beautiful young lady in the matter of just 3 and half years. The process was difficult at times, as it should be when hormones are changing and things are happening to you that you just don’t understand. This past summer was hard for our pre-teen (and for her parents) but she was open with us and shared her thoughts and feelings and we were grateful for that.
We were both new to this phase of life. Yes, I was once a pre-teen but I had never parented one before and was trying to learn as we moved along. Abigail was very honest and always called me on my stuff, which at the time was challenging but afterward I admired her for speaking her mind and being open to the process of this mother/daughter relationship. I would usually walk away enlightened by her, often having flashbacks from my pre-teen years. She was moving through this time with grace, something I may not have said in the midst of it but can honestly say now.
She wanted us to have “our thing” and to share secrets that no one else knew. She asked once if I thought we would ever just know what each other was thinking and I of course said yes. I then reminded her of the time we were shopping at a fancy dress store where the women at the checkout was wearing a see-through shirt and forgot to put a bra on under it. Neither of us said a word while we were checking out but broke out into laughter the minute we hit the door. All I had to say after that was White House/Black Market and we would both start laughing.
The bond we share is unique to those who are opened to what happens when you allow yourself to love unconditionally a child that is not biologically yours. Our bond is based on trust, respect and the ability to allow another person to come into your life and fill your bucket. Abigail definitely filled my bucket.
Watching her grow up and become a young lady was truly a gift. My Abigail was beautiful in so many ways and I am so blessed to share “secrets” with her and so blessed to be her mom.