I must also tell you that in moving to Spokane the pair of us have been given the gift of some phenomenal girl friends in their respective age groups of course. In fact personally I can say I have never had so many girlfriends in my life, women that I respect and love and am incredibly blessed to have share their lives with me. Recently there have been lots of conversations of womanhood, and what that holds for our little rosebuds. One of the lovely things about homeschooling is that you often have kids that are all different ages and grades that play together without thinking about the number that is attached to their little souls. And so Grace has some girlfriends that are about 18 months older than her. Her being tall makes it hard to remember that she is in fact much younger than these girls especially in the grand scheme of womanhood. My biggest fear in all of this was that these girls would begin to learn and experience changes that Grace's body is not quite ready for. That there would be girl talk that she found to be confusing or scary. And as much as I would love for her to be little and sweet and love tutus and baby dolls forever I know that in a few short years we are due for some change, due for some opportunities, due for extreme growth and I find that to be a pink package full of tears and anxiety but also an opportunity for me to teach Grace how beautiful she is to be a woman, to be a daughter of God.
And so the conversations had begun a few weeks back with my girl friends in how we were all going to approach this. To be part of such a lovely group of women that love their girls enough to approach this with deep prayer and planning is a humbling thing. These relationships are ones that I never saw myself having, rather relationships that others had. To be in a group of women who love their girls already for what they are to become rather than being caught up in the mood swings and attitudes that are already budding is refreshing.
My story of how these subjects were introduced to me is one that is better than most but still not quite what I wanted to give to Grace. My mom was very open with me, laid it all out and then said well if you need anything let me know. I knew I could ask her anything. That part is something I want to replicate with my Grace. But I also want to give her more. I want to give her self worth and self love. I want to teach her that she is a gift that her body is a gift. That it is never to be something she should ever feel like she has to give to another. That is nothing she should ever be ashamed of. That her value is much greater than her outward appearance, her boob size, or what size jeans she wears. That she is someone that God created specifically and purposefully.
I believe that all of these subjects go hand in hand. And I know with my Grace it all needs to be handled specifically and gently. That we have to take it one step at a time. The first day we only got through the chapters on body odor and training bras and she told me we should stop for the day. And thats when I knew I was handling this in the way that I should. That already she trusted she could tell me what was enough for her.
This mothering a girl thing has been incredibly healing for me as well as one of the greatest challenges I have ever been given. But I have found with enough prayer and enough thought put towards who this little girl is has made it worlds easier than I ever thought it would be. It is a gift to be her mother. It is a gift that I experienced all that I have in the last 31 years especially the miserable stuff. The things that made me want to die in my tween years are now coming back as blessings, they are now coming back as reminders of what I want my little sweetie to be prepared for. Its a chance to give her what I wish I would have had....that's a gift folks.
And so when things feel scary to me as far as what I feel I am being called to give her I think of how scary it might be for her if I don't. And so we trudge forward. We celebrate who we are at 8 and who we are to be at 13, and who we might be able to become by 31. I pray that God will give me the grace I need to mother my Grace. What a blessing it is!