I’ve often wondered how we managed to raise such a smart daughter. She is so much smarter than I ever was at her age. She makes good choices. She has good friends. She loves deeply and honestly.
She and I had a conversation recently about some of the other girls her age that we know who are so eager to be in relationships. Girls who think having sex on the first date is normal. Girls who feel like their life is incomplete if they don’t have a boyfriend.
I was one of those girls. Started dating a boy at age 14. Believed him when he said we’d be together forever, making choices that I was so not ready for. When that relationship ended, I spent the next few years feeling like I was un-lovable. Then came the years of going from one relationship to the next, hoping every time that this would be the one to love me enough to marry me. When one finally did want to marry me, I jumped at the chance only to find out he really wasn’t Mr. Right.
It wasn’t until I learned to love myself that I was open to accepting that someone else could love me as well.
So as M and I discussed why she is so different, why she doesn’t feel the need for a boy in her life constantly, we figured it out. She loves the person she is already. She doesn’t need someone else to make her feel loved.
And why is that?
Because we’ve always loved the person she is, and we’ve told her so. We’ve always allowed her to be her own person, shaping herself in her own way, but always with us as the safety net to catch her when she falls. Because she knows what unconditional love is, she knows what she wants in a relationship and is willing to wait for it.
How amazing is that?
It’s a rare thing for me to pat myself on the back for anything, but this time I feel it is in order. Mike and I raised an amazing young woman. We had no clue what we were doing, but we still managed to get it right.