Raising Daughters

@postaday 70; #postaday2011

I’m blessed with two pretty amazing girls. I often refer to them as my sun and my moon. They are opposites, they push and pull at each other, they frustrate each other, they share secrets, they erupt into fits and giggles.

Sophie is the good cop, the one who learns all the rules and abides by them, the sun who can recite the rules and be sure her sister abides by them, and even has been known to remind her father and me of the rules, as well, although John doesn’t often need this. Most of the time it is for MiniMe, aka Kid2, aka Charlotte, and for me.

Charlotte is my wild child, the space cadet, the moon, the amazing artist, and, despite fabulous test scores, an under achiever at school. Honestly, for MiniMe, I wish we actually could fast forward through time so she can avoid all the heartache that I anticipate will fall upon her, most of which she brings upon herself. She is, after all, MiniMe. Some of you know how true this is. This is the child who turned me on to Linkin Park. This video of their song, “Numb,” is dedicated to Charlotte. I love  you Charlotte!

My great hope is that Sophie will get to pursue all her science, math and technology ambitions, that great teachers will see her spark and fan it, that she will soar because she has a wondrous noggin, a positive disposition, and an open heart. My great hope is that Charlotte will be encouraged to develop the right side of her brain, as she is an amazing artist who acquires technology skills quickly. It’s all she thinks about. She’s more at home connected to her computer than I think she is with others. She, too, can be a very charming and loving girl, but she’s got the Rock of Gibraltar on her shoulder, something I’ve been trying to knock off for about 10 years now. I know she compares herself to her sister. That is a Sisyphean struggle for me, day in and day out, assuring her she is amazing just the way she is.

Recently I’ve observed how Charlotte allows failure in her life. She allows things to happen that she knows will disappoint her parents. Now I am adding the pep talk about embracing the possibilities of success, instead of settling for being ho hum. I don’t know where that comes from, but I do know that I have done it, too. With the help of John, I’ve been able to grow away from the self-flagellation that was drilled into me (see yesterday’s entry?) for years and years. If I can prevent Charlotte from developing self-disdain, I think all will be well.

I have found that when the daughters are good to each other that they both shine so brightly. As a mom, I often have to step back and let their episodes unfold as they will. It’s hard. I want to show them how not to be, but I guess that’s all part of the bumps and bruises that help us become empathetic adults.