Something crazy is happening in our family right now... After years of my daughter NOT being interested in boys, or at least, not acting interested, we are venturing into the world of crushes.
I would be a liar if I said that I haven’t been somewhat excited for this day. I mean, I like boys, and the butterflies and sensations that show up when they started to pay attention to me. This is an exciting time in a kids life!
I am also full of opinion. Dare I say, to a fault? This is something I have been actively learning to notice and shift. My relationship with my daughter thrives when I reign in my opinions, pause before offering my thoughts, and just listen to her.
My daughter is not one to share. In fact, my fingers are crossed that she will grant me permission to send this article out to the world (I hope she says yes). She holds things in, as many who lean towards introverted do. But something is changing as she inches closer towards thirteen. She is opening up to me. And I love it.
Here’s the thing though, it's a delicate balance. I am dying to know all the details, I am eager for any information, any glimpse I can get into her life apart from our family.
This is no bueno. The eagerness shuts her down and she shuts me out. And that kills me. As she moves into her adolescent and teen years I don’t want to be shut out. I want her to confide in me, trust me, and let me in.
So here is what I have been practicing – compassion and nonjudgmental.
I let her come to me. I show up with no agenda, no attachment, just a pure desire to share space with her. She leads the conversation. She offers up her stories, her excitement, her news.
…And I breathe out all the thoughts and opinions I am not asked to give.
I listen and smile.
I relish in the closeness that is growing between us.
I am not naïve, I know that there will be tough conversations moving forward, boundaries and limits that she is not going to like… She will push me away, that's it developmentally appropriate thing to do… But for right now, my girl is in the sweetness of crushes, and potential hand holding, and she’s letting me in.
And I am so glad to be able to meet her there.