Some of you may recognize the title from Game of Thrones: “Mother of Dragons.” Unfortunately, it is not original to me. However, there are days that I feel like it is the perfect description of my role.
My oldest daughter is a pre-teen, aka a highly hormonal, extremely opinionated young lady, depending on the day and the placement of the moon. She is filled with compassion and genuine love for her friends.
My middle daughter is the most adorable weirdo you will ever meet. She is unpredictable and has such a funny sense of humor.
Our youngest is a bit of a firecracker (or a short-circuited time bomb). She can melt our hearts moments after an epic fit.
I will have these moments of pride, just like Daenerys Targaryen, beaming with strength and feeling unbeatable. My dragons–I mean daughters–they are fierce. There are days I feel like I have survived the fire, but there are certainly days I feel like the flames may never cool down, and I might not be able to walk through the smoke. I had no real idea of what to expect with girls. I anticipated bows, tutus, and baking cakes together. However, it’s more like superhero/warrior world-changers that wear dresses with boots.
There are a lot of opinions, misunderstandings, and a lack of patience for girls who are assertive, but we are still looking for ways to cultivate strength, security, inner beauty, a strong moral compass, compassion, and enjoyment of life.
I have days when the ‘burden’ feels so heavy. I am raising daughters that wonder if they will be smart enough, if they are pretty enough, and will eventually be faced with the realities of this world. How do we prepare them for the reality of body image, sexual health, choosing friends, maintaining friendships, and how to interpret ‘code words’ in the work place, on the internet, and in relationships? How do we avoid cultivating cynical women, filled with uncertainty and fear?
I get all kinds of responses when people realize I have three girls, ages 10, 6, and 2.
“Oh, bless your heart!”
“Start saving for those weddings!”
These responses are all fine and good. Sometimes I will just smile, but sometimes I will take a moment to ‘educate’. My sweet husband, a terrific father, does have a lot of emotions to ‘deal’ with, but he has a big heart and proves over and over again that he is more than capable to love and support all of his girls.
It’s taken me about thirty years to really feel comfortable in my own skin, with my own thoughts and ideas. I know that I can’t make it happen faster for my girls. However, I know I can let them be who they are and guide them with love and acceptance. There are a lot of opinions, misunderstandings, and a lack of patience for girls who are assertive, but we are still looking for ways to cultivate strength, security, inner beauty, a strong moral compass, compassion, and enjoyment of life.
I have intense anxiety and plenty of self doubt, but I am so thankful to have these girls in my life. When I watch their responses and hear their questions and concerns, I am reassured. We are raising these beautiful children who will have a unique perspective on life and the world around them.