Friday, August 26, 2011

My daughter, my teacher

Peyton and I just got back from a fantastic vacation in the Outer Banks with Chris and his family. It was so great to spend time with my future in laws, getting to know them better and them getting to know me better. And being at the beach sure didn’t hurt! My only complaint: the getting there and the getting home.

It took 4 hours to go 90 miles on the day that we arrived. The stress from the drive was quickly wiped away when we finally got to the house and I didn’t think about it until the night before I had to make my drive back to the airport. I hadn’t been worried about bad traffic trying to get off the Outer Banks and onto the mainland on a Thursday afternoon, but Hurricane Irene changed that. So, with the urging of my wonderful fiancĂ©e, Peyton and I left for the airport at 7 am for a 4:15 flight, just in case people were starting to evacuate.

They weren’t. So, Peyton and I arrived at the airport at 9 with 7 hours ahead of us. We killed some time touring around Norfolk, going to a movie and having lunch, getting back to the airport 2 hours before our flight took off only to find out our flight was now delayed until 6. Long story short, we finally boarded at 6:15 pm, landing in Detroit around 8, 13 hours after our day began.

Now, the point to my long explanation of my unfortunate travel issues is that I learned some valuable lessons that day that I hope will not only make me a better person, but more importantly a better mother. Despite all of the waiting and driving and waiting and flying and waiting, my amazing daughter did not voice one single complaint all day. Not once did she whine about why it was taking so long or why we weren’t leaving yet or why she wasn’t home already. Her mother, on the hand, complained a whole lot.

Several other people waiting for the flight as well commented on how impressed they were with her, as she sat in her chair quietly, playing with her toys, completely content. I have been proud of her at many moments in her life, but maybe none more so than this day. She was absolutely amazing and it made me reevaluate my thinking.

I learned that as a mother, I need to cut her a little slack sometimes. I can so easily get caught up in the few things she does wrong instead of appreciating all of the wonderful things that she does right. From now on, I’m going to try my best to focus on those things and remember them when I get angry about something that she has done.

I learned that I need to give my incredible little girl a whole lot more credit. I complained and whined that day because I was worried that she was going to break down at any moment and a huge fit would ensue. I realize now that this is a kid who has been through a lot this last year and has handled it all so gracefully that she can manage a couple of hours waiting in an airport.

I learned that I just when I thought I couldn’t possibly love her anymore than I already do, my heart finds a way to expand and fill up even more with pride, adoration and love.
I learned that I am so proud of her and who she is becoming. She truly is an amazing little girl and I wonder how I was lucky enough to be blessed with such an awesome little kid.

And most importantly, I learned that it’s not only me that’s going to be teaching her throughout her life. She’s going to be teaching me as well. 

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