Here’s the thing. I don’t want my daughter to think that the whole world revolves around her. There’s roughly 7.7 billion other people on this planet. People in her life are going to do things that she doesn’t like. They’re going to have their own opinions and do things their own way and sooner or later she’s going to have to learn how to live with it. That’s why I ask her to share her toys, because I believe it starts there. Sometimes kiddos are going to take toys away from her and there isn’t always another parent around encouraging them to share. So she’s left there without the toy she chose at the library, staring at the little boy who snatched it from her hands. Rather than mumbling under my breath about it and searching angrily for that kid’s parent I teach her that it’s ok because there are other options around. Not everything is fair all the time nor is everything always going to go her way.
Sometimes people are going to take things away from her, sometimes life sweeps things out from under you and if I don’t teach her how to cope with that as a child with the little corduroy bear in the library how on earth is she going to manage losing a job as an adult, or the friend she put her trust in, or the school she hoped to get into?
Right now our focus is for her to learn how to share, take turns, be kind and gentle. Lord help me when she’s three and she has her own opinions about it, but for now I’m trying. I want her to understand that even when she is kind and sharing she won’t always have her actions reciprocated by a peer. That’s ok! Maybe that makes me a pessimist. But I don’t see the fuss in making sure she’s treated fairly 100% of the time because it’s not practical for her future. I’d rather teach her how to handle not being treated fairly when she deserved to be.
One day she’ll have to take the direction of her teachers and learn how to work with partners. She’s going to have to learn how to take the direction of a coach and carry her own weight and encourage others in a team if she so decides to play sports one day. She’s going to have to learn how to navigate people’s feelings as she develops her own friendships and come to agreements, compromises and sacrifices when she meets her future mate. I do not wish to teach her that she is the most important one in the room, nor the smartest, nor the most talented.
However what I do want her to know is that she is the most extraordinary child to me. I want her to know that I have waited for her and loved her since before she was born. I want her to know that my whole life revolves around her. From the moment I wake to her babbling in her crib to the moment I kiss her head and tell her “Mama loves you” before bed. I take my job as her mother with honor. Soothing her cries when she feels misunderstood, instilling a love for reading, appealing to her wild side by taking her to Gymnastics. Planning playdates to develop solid friendships. As she grows older my life will continue to orbit hers, fueling her talents and her confidence. She deserves to know from a young age that though not everyone may think she’s the greatest little human on earth someone in the world does think the best of her. That someone is her mama. I think that’s enough for her at the end of the day.
I hope that one day she is able to cope with specific situations in her adulthood that seem unfair because of how we handled these early days. My world is focused on raising a kind, empathetic, loving individual. I think we could use more of those in this world.