Thursday, March 18, 2010

Parenting the Hippie Child

My middle daughter is a hippie. This is all fine and well, but for the fact that it is very different from the person that I am.

I’m concrete, she’s abstract. I’m literal, she’s visual. I move quickly, she moves at the speed of snail.

All this is compounded by the fact that my first-born daughter is so much like me. I totally “get” her. If she’s upset, I understand why. If I ask her to do something, she quickly and efficiently complies. But with Daughter #2, the things that set her off are often a mystery to me. What’s important to her – and what she couldn’t care less about – frequently surprises me. (She has no interest in broadening her social circle, but is loyal to a small group of friends. And when faced with any form of competition, she backs right off.) So, I feel like it is my middle child who is really teaching me about being a parent.

It is my four-year-old who is teaching me to see things in a new light. When I lament the pouring rain, this is the kid who looks at me and says, “But Mom, the rain is what makes the flowers grow.”

One day last spring when we were walking to school I found myself a few paces ahead of my middle daughter. As per usual, I (strongly) urged her to hurry up. But when I turned around I saw her crouched down, her dress pooled at her feet, sunlight catching her blond hair, literally stopping to smell the flowers. No amount of rushing was worth having her – or me – miss that moment.

As spring approaches, my little hippie continues to teach me: There is more than one way to approach a situation, you don’t always have to travel in a straight line to get where you’re going, and there is no reason not to wear sundresses year-round.

Maybe it’s time I stopped to smell the flowers too.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I always get great information from your blog. God bless you this 2010.