I always wanted a boy first, something about having that big brother there to protect you. When we found out our first was going to be a boy we were so happy. Then a couple of years later and we found out we were having a girl and it couldn't seem more perfect.
As a child I was more shy and timid, crying easily in new moments- she took on life boldly and fearlessly, yet could still be quiet and almost meek at times.
Our stubbornness and our differences would at times make us both dig in our heels and she definitely seemed to gravitate towards her adoring father, yet she was my girl.
Last week I worked out again for the first time in many years. I don't know why I really stopped, I think the desire to sleep in during the summer and I just never made it back to workout when the next school year began. After my workout out I felt like I could barely walk, barely move. That night at Alex's soccer practice everyone asked if I was okay as I was walking with an obvious stiffness. It took almost two entire days until I felt like I could walk normally again.
Wednesday night we were practicing on a small indoor field due to the rain. They were doing a shooting drill with the strikers much closer than they usually would be and Alex ended up taking a direct hit to the face.
As she dropped to her knees holding her face, I was sure as I ran over there was going to be lots of blood. Miraculously there was not, she came out, got a drink and tried to settle down, visibly shaken and upset. But after a little bit she went back in, all the parents commenting how tough she was.
At this point in the practice they were doing a lot of running. She joined her teammates running hard, but was still not quite feeling her best. As she ran her eyes welled up with tears, I could almost see the internal battle going on in her head. Her eyes became more red and a few sobs escaped her lips. She continued to run. She sometimes would look back at me almost seeming to say save me but that she would keep going if I told her to.
As a mother I felt conflicted... torn... wanting to protect and shield my child, but not wanting her to ever give up.
She seemed to gag as if she was going to throw up, but still she ran. Finally I waved her over, after I was almost certain she was going to lose it all over the floor. Thankfully she did not.
The next day as I wobbled around the house, complaining about my sore legs I thought about my daughter the night before, determined to keep going, determined to finish strong. Looking to me for what she should do, looking to me to know how much she needed to endure, what she needed to push through.
As a parent it is so easy to want to shelter our kids, to protect them-- and trust me there are many things that I do protect and shelter them from, but ultimately they have to learn to battle through, to push, to keep going even when things are really hard.
I try so hard to let my kids know that I will love them no matter what, that nothing can take away their worth, who they truly are... yet they have to work, they have to try for their best.
Things in life don't come free, we are not entitled to things. We have to work, we have to push when times are hard, we have to keep going. And I will always be there, never stop loving her, never give up on her, never stop pushing her to strive to be her best self-- but I will be there, to wave her over and comfort when she has had enough. I couldn't take the pain, the fatigue from her but I can be there, I can always be there.