I’m recognizing that one of the biggest components to birthdays at my daughter’s age is learning the hand pose to show the world your age. In my daughter’s case, no longer three; age four. It’s been many decades since I’ve needed this skill, so I’m cognizant… and often laughing about it. “Desi, high-four!”
Age four is significant to me because my earliest memories stem from this age. So I feel like I’m increasingly becoming a conduit for everything I experienced at her age and I’m consciously censoring certain aspects of it. Censoring the need for precision and perfection, for example, while baking a cake. Allowing and encouraging the messy mistakes as both fun and instructive. After all, cracking an egg and getting all of it into the bowl is an art unto itself… and the mess is relatively easy to clean up and not such a big deal in the grand “cake” of things.
I would surmise that my difference in attitude partially relates to my age. However, my mother was the exact age as I when we received our daughterly gifts. So then, I wonder if it’s actually biological as I seem to feel my daughter’s intentions … whereas maybe my adoptive mother didn’t? Or, is it a desire born within all of us to learn from what we experienced at our children’s age and, as mothers, to want to modify it?
With my daughter, I constantly seek to discern between what is deliberately sloppy with what is unintentionally so. I encourage her to take credit for the Desi-disasters she creates while letting go of the ones that happen innocently.
In my mind and heart, I wish to move the needle. The needle that many of us women feel dictated by. That needle that tells us our place and how we should move, speak, or act to warrant our place in the world.
I wish to give my daughter the freedom and creative space to dabble, destruct, and discern. To not have to be perfect when the world … or anyone in her life expects her to be. To understand her perfection uniquely, unwaveringly, and spiritually… as we all are meant to understand ourselves. To break the cycle of people-pleasing that has stunted me and stands to stunt her.
Some women were born to mother. Others were destined to. I fall under the latter category. And, our story continues…. Happy Birthday, Desiree Star!
The full Desi series: