As we walked home from school the other week, Landon paused and looked at the stroller.
“Momma, I wonder if she’ll need bahas… I hope so. I want to teach her about them and show her what to do. I mean… you’re her mommy and my mommy and I wear bahas so she probably will too.”
I swallowed hard, and tried to steady my breath. My mind racing around searching for the perfect answer. I breathed deeply and realized there isn’t room for perfect in these conversations. There is only love and truth and compassion. There is a momma who adores her daughter, and that’s all we need here.
“Well, baby. I don’t know if she will later, but at this point it doesn’t seem like she will need bahas. What’s awesome is you’ll still teach her all about them. You’ll teach her many, many important things like how to be kind, how to build legos, why the sky is blue, what super hero girls are your favorites, how to climb a tree, and how to love like a sister. Just as they don’t define you, they won’t be the only thing she sees when she looks at you. You’ll be this giant bright light to guide her, like you do for me,” I replied as I wiped the tears from my face. “I love you so much Landon.”
“I love you too mommy. But if she doesn’t….. what if I’m the only one who wears them in our family?”
“Even if you are, we all have things that are unique to us, and it’s our job to be exceptionally proud of each thing that makes us… us.” I went on to tell her what’s unique to me, her dad, Eric and Anna. She smiled as we walked and then started telling me about her rainbow bracelets and all the people she made bracelets for. Our teaching moment passing as quickly as it came.
I let the bigger and deeper conversation pass gently even though I wanted to sit her down immediately and make sure she felt my immense love. Knowing that all I want is for her to love herself as much as I do, but also knowing that these discussions will come and go quietly some days. Even though I love control… I need to let her guide me as to how much she wants to talk about anything. While these innocent questions are such important moments for me, they are also fleeting to a busy seven year old.
I asked her if she had any other questions, any other thoughts on the baby or bahas. She said no and starting skipping and twirling around the stroller. “I just love her SO much!!” she yelled.
Whenever we talk about hearing aids, TCS or something related, I always have a moment, an inch of panic that I’m not getting it right. That somehow I need to have practiced many times over to make sure she knows how wonderfully loved she is. What I need to remember is that in trusting myself, I’m trusting what I’ve learned these last seven years. I’m able to guide her by showing up to these conversations and letting HER talk. By letting patience guide us, looking her in the eyes and hugging her- showing her every way I can that she is love – that is always the path. She will teach Virginia and the world around her how amazing she is by being exactly herself. My job is just to remind her of that.