I once gave birth to a perfect little girl. She had enormous blue eyes and beautiful black hair. She was the very most precious thing I'd ever seen as a twenty year old girl, and I promised myself that I would love her perfectly just as she deserved. I promised myself that she would never want for anything. And I promised myself (though it was a little late) that I would rise her with strong faith in God, that she would be a pleasure to be around, and that all who knew her would be blessed.
For a while, that was exactly what happened. She was pleasant to be around, and everyone who met with her walked away blessed by her energy, by her zest for life, by her sharp wit and sense of humor. Over the years, she has been touched by the evils of the world ... she has had her feelings hurt by other children, she has been ill and she has been sad. Sadly, she has already had her little heart broken many times, and even more sadly, some of those times were because of me or Boyfriend. We have not lived up to what I wanted for her, and we have broken many of my promises over and over again. Still, our Teenybop was a lovely child with a joy in her heart until the last year or so, and the stress that we've all been through has affected her deeply. And between that and having her ASD Repair which we believe ultimately led to her ADHD diagnosis, her life has undergone drastic changes in the past two years.
Because of these changes, I have seen a whole new person emerge in my daughter, and I confess that while I love my daughter with all my heart, I sometimes find myself challenged to like this little person who has taken over my sweet little angel child.
Tonight I got a glimpse of that child, and I find my heart restored, reassured that my sweetheart is still in there, waiting to be dragged back out of the corner she has retreated to. As we walked into her school tonight she was like a little adult, leading the way to the art room where they had Santa's Workshop (store for children to do their Christmas shopping). But once we got there, her confidence drooped a bit and she fell back to her old habit of trusting in me to be there for her. As Piglet hung out with Boyfriend and my dad, Teenybop and I walked the makeshift aisles of the Santa store, choosing gifts for her loved ones. She chose my gift first, and at first she settled on a bottle of bubbles (cute huh?) but then decided that I might like a Tinkerbell pen better. I agreed that I would in fact like the pen better, and we moved on, ever mindful of her budget and trying to be careful not to overspend while not being too cheap. So in the end, I got my cute little Tinkerbell pen.
As we continued our shopping tour we came to a table lined with wallets and Teenybop chose one for Boyfriend, followed by an eagle figurine for my dad. She bought a change-purse for my mom, and a beaded cell phone thingie for Boyfriend's mom. As we walked together to the register so she could pay, she was so proud of herself, and I was impressed with her choices. We had her things gift-wrapped and she reminded me that I wasn't supposed to know about my pen, firmly instructing me to keep it a secret and not tell myself about my present. For the first time in a long time, we laughed together and it felt so good ...
We stayed together as a family afterward, and watched the second and third grade kids do a little musical show for us, and it was just a great night. We have been so overdue for that so it was a great relief, and much-needed warmth to this mother's heart.