Sunday, March 28, 2010

Step by Step

When I was a little girl I had two dreams for my life--to be a writer and to be a mom. And while I'm proud of myself for accomplishing the first, I'm even more thrilled to be living the second each and every day.

From the moment each of my girls were born, I was a devoted mom--giving them as much of my time and attention as humanly possible. Each stage they hit, I fell more and more in love with them.

The baby stage was nothing short of amazing as I watched them accomplish all the special milestones--smiling, sitting, crawling, walking, talking, etc.

The toddler stage was wonderful (really) as I watched them explore and learn and become mini versions of the adults they would be.

The early school stage (with the exception of the first day and the accompanying tears--on my part) was memorable as well...with homemade Christmas presents, Mother's Day teas, helping with class parties, etc.

And now, as they're getting older (fifth grade and high school freshmen), I find myself getting teary-eyed as I watch them taking the first real steps towards the young women they will become. Young women I'm so very proud to call my daughters.

I bring this up because the past few months have brought so many changes their way, changes they've done amazing things with like:

Despite a move halfway across the country and a major change in their overall school environment, both girls are thriving. My oldest is hitting high honor roll each quarter with a full load of after school activities. My youngest just landed herself in some sort of gifted and talented program at her school and is involved in chorus and orchestra.

My oldest is pursuing her dream of becoming an actress by getting involved in everything theater/show/production related she can find--performing just this past weekend in her high school's production of Beauty and the Beast (she brought me to tears more than a few times as I watched, proudly, from my seat in the auditorium). The picture above shows her with some of her friends from the cast (she's the one on the far right).

My youngest got involved in basketball this winter and just earned a special award for Most Improved on her team. When presenting her the award, the coach mentioned everything from her ability in the sport to her "always smiling face." And the smile she had when he handed her the award? Absolutely priceless.

Step by step they're growing up. Step by step they're needing me less and less. It's a process I love and dread all at the same time. There's a very real part of me that wants nothing more than to put bricks on both of their heads to keep them from growing another inch...a part of me that wants to hug them so tightly they can't ever leave But there's also the part of me that knows there will come a day, in the not-too-distant future, when I have to let go and trust that they'll be okay.

Because they will be. I see it in their poise and their confidence, their kindness and their gentle ways.

I see these things each and every day. Even when the view is a little misty.



AndyP said...

That was great Laura. Your daughters are blessed to have you. I do want to share something though. I have been with my wife since we were in high school. I watched as she went through many stages with her mom. In the end they are strong friends who are very close. They go through everything together and they are there for the other in thick and thin.
You will also be blessed with this much later in life, so much more to look forward to, I promise :)

Pamela Stone said...

I raised two boys and loved every minute of it. Well, maybe not EVERY minute, but most. School, soccer, driver's licenses, military, marriages. They have grown into really cool men, both with families of their own. Talk about tears. Wait until you see your babies hold babies of their own. Pretty awesome.

Laura Bradford said...

Thanks, AndyP. A consolation on those days when I lean more towards being sad about them growing.

Pamela, I can't even imagine that yet! But it does sound lovely!

Maura said...

Great post, Laura! Sounds like you are doing a great job with your girls. I can't wait to meet them someday. See you soon!

Lynn said...

Just wait until you're flying out to see them get married...wait a minute, that's me...

They are doing so great because they have a great role model.

Ali said...

Your girls sound wonderful. Being a mother of one daughter who is about to get married I can relate so much to your post. How I miss my little pony girl even though we are closer than we've ever been. Enjoy them. Pretty soon you too will be shopping for wedding dresses, helping to create design boards,and throwing a big party to help celebrate their big day. Daughters rule!

Rosemary Morretta

Jenna Kernan said...

It's nice to look around every once and a while and notice when things are going well. Thanks for the great post!

Jenna Kernan

linda s said...

What a good mom you are. When you surround your children with love you grow and change together. Coaching dd through the birth of grandbaby was the most awesome moment yet. Every year, the kids just get better and better.