It finally dawned on me as I said good night to Tara that she won’t be six ever again. As she turns 7, so do we, as parents. We have grown up with her through these years. And soon, very soon, her growth will out pace us.
I put myself in the category of an observant parent. I don’t helicopter and I don’t let her slack. I simply observe her natural dispositions. And she is almost always right, and sensible about her choices. But soon, that won’t be the case. My observant parenting style has led me this far. I adapt to her style. She takes the lead, I follow, course correct.
When she started graduating towards dolls, I bought the Rebel Girls series to read to her. When she started to gravitate towards cooking, I started playing with legos with her. When she started to talk about money, I started to tell what things cost and how much effort goes into earning a pay check. To the extent that she reacts to a $100 expense more gravely than a $1 expense. I hope I can keep pace with these observations and course corrections.
As she grows, she is becoming more conscientious about her celiac. On this trip I tried to tell her that we can always be upset about things we don’t have, and there will always be a list of things we want but cannot have. Rather we should focus on what we do have, and how best to use it. A wheat intolerance is better than a dairy intolerance. She understands. But she is a child.
I worry that just like Agam and me, she will be the grow up in her group. She will mature before her age. But that’s ok. I’d rather have it this way.
She was just a little baby when we brought her home – and she is a fine little girl already. She will be a big girl, and a fine young woman one day. And I will be here, observing her, and course correcting myself. And hopefully, she will one day realize that this mom’s love is tough. She won’t carry you on her back when the trail is rough, but she will shine the light on the path you should walk on, if you choose to do so. And she will tell you how it should be told, without sugar coating or sandwiching- that life is not fair. And you need to get used to it.
Tara – May you be blessed with the guiding light from the angels and elders who came and went before you. And may your light touch hearts, heal wounds, bring smiles and make this world a better place.
Happy 7th birthday, Tara! You are and will always be my guiding star.