3.11.2010

Looking Ahead...



In my dreams, my girlies turn out something like the crazy adorable student Ruby Barber spotted over on the Selby...

Lately I find myself constatly thinking about what the girls will be like as teenagers.

Maybe it's because I'm starting to see glimpses that Audrey is growing up...our conversations are slightly more serious, her questions increasingly mature, her demeanour a smidge more, well...refined. As much as I morn their babyhood, I love watching these changes, seeing what the next phase will bring.

I do find it hard though, as all this is happening, not to project onto the girls too much of what I want them to be like, (or maybe more specifically what I want them to like.) This sort of smacked me in the face when Audrey and I were watching the women's figure skating together during the Olympics, and I was (quite emphatically) expressing my disdain for a particular skater's costume. Audrey just sat there stone still, perfectly silent (which is rather unusual for her), when it dawned on me that she liked the costume but was afraid to say anything since I clearly abhorred it.


all images via the selby

I realized this was a make or break moment...this was my chance to make her feel heard even though I knew we wouldn't agree. This would be the beginning of every (successful) future teenage conversation we would ever have.

So we chatted about why she liked it (and exactly why I didn't), and I assured her that her opinion was valid even though it was different than mine. I then I silently vowed that I would (try) to let her be her own person.

Even if it means she might end up wearing a tacky red lace skating outfit....

22 comments:

Barchbo said...

What a wonderful conversation to have! One of my most successful techniques when I was teaching (that I learned from MY best teachers) was to open conversations with kids with questions. It gives them a chance to be heard, in a safe environment, without feeling pressured to reflect others' opinions.

Just girlies are so lucky to have a mom like you! And with your taste, I am pretty confident that there are no red lace skating costumes in their future (except perhaps for Halloween!)

Christina said...

Please let her. My tacky, lacey skating outfits are some of my most prized possessions. Haha I will never get rid of them, and although I decided to go to college instead of pursue a profession as a figure skater, I still am trying to get back into it, coaching this time.

Fern and Feather said...

such a great perspective. I look back on what my mom used to let me wear to school {old glasses without lenses, my entire head of hair gelled to one side, one lace glove} and I am so grateful that my mom let me be myself. I am the one that has to live with the photos ;).

Simply Mel said...

I needed to read this because just the other day, I wanted to purchase a cute black dress for Gaia, and she chose the bright orange with stripes instead. Mind you, she is only 2, but I can't force my tastes on her or I fear she will definitely go the opposite end of the spectrum.

Stephanie said...

that girl is so adorable. Although well past my teen years, I wouldn't mind be as cute as she is.

Engracia said...

Great post Joslyn, I always find myself thinking about how my boys will turn out as teenagers. I'm worried they might become non-communicative at ll, ie just grunt at their mum. I'm a bit of a control freak, so I can't help but try and guide them into the way I want them to end up, but I do need to just ease up a bit, the eldest is only 4.5 years. I should really just enjoy their present. You've given me food for thought. Cheers
Engracia

karey m. said...

you know what i think about all the time? because i do this same thing, you can bet on THAT!

but one of my friends told me that the biggest cause of insanity and depression is the feeling that you can't communicate.

which is why i try to allow complete and utter drivel to come from the girlies' three mouths. no matter how painful their opinions and choices may be...

i guess red lacy sequins are better than insanity?

{all of the above was supposed to convey the message that i'm here for you. and well done as a mom. etc. etc. i'm afraid it did not. eep!}

xoxo.

Allison said...

this struck a chord for me - I encounter moments when it seems like my almost-5-year-old agrees with me (or changes her mind) because she thinks agreeing with me is the right thing to do. I don't suppose I've thought of it in terms of making sure she feels heard too. OK - I am going to try to make that a priority now.

stephanie said...

What a great thing to share! I don't have kids, but I totally admire you for having that conversation with your daughter. It's got to be hard as a parent to have ideas of what you want your kids to be like or be into, and then realize that they might be different that what you imagined. Anyway, that's awesome and I bet she was so happy to know that it's okay to like what she likes.

Estelle said...

Oh, good for you, mama. You took the very high road. Not always easy but imagine how strong and important she will feel knowing that her opinions really matter and she does not have to be afraid to share them. Kudos to you.

emmajames said...

If only more parents took that moment's pause that you did, and saw the opportunities to communicate. Your daughter is one lucky girl. (But I'm with you on the skating outfit.)

Lauri said...

It is fun to read all this from the perspective of a mom of two very different and very opinionated teenagers, who, by the way, are now not the least bit interested in knowing what I like or why. My daughter especially has her own sense of style and I think she looks great.

tiny twig said...

this is a beautiful post. i can't imagine what it will be like to let my boys grow up and let go...but i sense it starting even at 3. what if they are just totally different than i ever thought possible? they will still be their own people...and well loved. :)

Sarah Bradley said...

What a great conversation! Even thought I'm not a parent I really appreciate when I hear about what others are doing-- really respect what you're doing and how I hear you're raising the girlies!

Kristin said...

oh those tricky motherhood moments. you did good... you're a real pro. (and I agree with you on that outfit... hee hee)

Elsa May said...

Oh my - it's so hard when you realise that your kids are at the stage that they have their own (valid) opinions and ideas - it's tough sometimes to keep your own in check so they can voice theirs. Good on you for your quick perception - with you as her mother I am sure Audrey will grow up to realise that red lace outfits are never OK :)

Melissa Blake said...

what a beautiful story! What a lucky girl Audrey is! :)

Mrs.French said...

such a good momma you are...i can't lie, this post made me giddy...now that i know there is a tiny french girl baby on the way. i feel like i am joining the most wonderful club in the world! xo t
p.s. i am not sure i can handle red lace as graceful as you managed to... :)

keepfeeling said...

i don't even have children and this post made me smile, and feel a little bit sad in a way! i think it's so important to notice these things in your little ones. it teaches them to be free thinkers, which is so valuable!

Stephanie said...

This was excellent for me to read...thanks for sharing Joslyn! Sometimes I feel like I'm going to be in the baby phase f-o-r-e-v-e-r but lest I remind myself I do have an 8-year-old and must start thinking about these conversations myself!

xo

liz stanley said...

Just loving your blog right now. Thats all. Carry on.

kanishk said...

such a great perspective.
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