Before I had Clare a very wise woman told me that I should enjoy every stage of Clare’s life. She advised me not to say, “I can’t wait until” or “Things will be great when she” or “If only she would”.
I thought about this woman’s own relationship with her daughter. I thought about what it meant for her to enjoy every stage. Her daughter is a brilliant lovely person, a redhead with a shining personality and a more talent than most people I know, which is saying a lot.
But her daughter also had rough spots. I can say this because I’ve known her since I was in second grade when she would hide under her brother’s desk, who sat across from me, until her ride came. She looked like little orphan Annie but…not so orphaned. Her hair was always curled and tied with bows and she often wore tap shoes wherever she went.
As she grew up she developed all of her gifts with ease but at the same time struggled with friends and their inconstancy. She had difficult relationships with young men and has searched long and hard in various avenues to find her life’s calling.
I would imagine that as a mother it would have been difficult to see your daughter go through all the things this particular girl went through. The fairy dust often fades. But through it all she has retained a great capacity for love and still seeks to enjoy life in the way that she did when she wore tap shoes all over town despite the difficulties that come with age. I have a feeling that is because her mother let her be exactly where she was. I have a strange feeling that she is the way she is because she was not forced or pushed or prodded into her next stage prematurely.Last night, after I fed Clare, she fell asleep in my arms. I sat there staring at her beautiful self for an indistinguishable amount of time. Then Andrew came in and took these photos.At that moment…I understood what this wise woman had told me 7 months ago.
Enjoy every stage…this one… and the “NO!” stage and the “This one time…” stage and the “Curfew?” stage.
But boy did I enjoy this one. And thanks for the wonderful advice oh wise woman.