For the last few months, I have been bonding with my oldest in a new way. Some of you may already do this, but my hope is to encourage anyone who needs it.
Lauren and I have been going on dates together. We have gotten coffee, shopped at the mall, and walked through the park. It is so much fun for both of us! When I asked if she wanted to start this, she leaped at the chance. As much as she loves her little sister, she longs for time with just me. She also likes feeling more grown up.
From the beginning, we have laughed more and shared more. There is something freeing about sitting somewhere other than the kitchen table or Lauren’s bedroom together. She feels more like opening up to me. As much time as I have spent with her for 11 years, she still seems to save tidbits for me during these outings.
It’s not just her sharing stories from her life or day at school, but I am telling her more. The more she grows up, the more important it is becoming for me to tell her things I have gone through. I can tell her how to act all I want, but she listens more when I tell her about mistakes I have made. (You know, the one or two I made growing up…) Sharing my struggles, flaws, and the consequences I face tell her about the real world a little at a time.
We talk about her friendships a lot. My poor child is learning so much about what she wants and doesn’t want in a friend and is learning how to be a good friend. Together, side by side, we are sorting through the pieces she brings me. The puzzle becomes a little clearer to her with each event. I can’t keep her heart from breaking or her tears from falling, but I can be there to help put it all back in place.
One day I will look back at the years I had with my girls. I hope to remember them with smiles and fondness and not regret over the time I missed. I hope you will too.
Linking with Holley Gerth