A mama knows that a day is coming when her little girl will develop a new and tainted perspective on life. One in which she sees herself through a lens others put over her eyes.
We know this too well because each of us have been through these stages of life already. We know that there is no turning back to the innocence of young girlhood. As I look at my own sweet seven year old, I feel the burden of what she’ll face in the years to come. She is my youngest, the baby of the family, Mommy and Daddy’s baby girl. Each of our daughters had this position at one point, but it rests on her.
This morning I read a beautiful post by Chaunie Brusie about how we wish our daughters could always feel as free and beautiful as they do in their in their youth. Read her article here – Dear Daughter, You are so beautiful.
The simplicity of childhood is attractive to people of all ages. We long for times that are carefree now that we live in a world of responsibility and concern. We want our children’s innocence to last as long as possible and yet it can’t last forever. The changes must happen in order for their minds and hearts to grow along with their bodies. Healthy womanhood requires that we see the world through adult eyes. The loss of childhood is what enables mothers to cherish and protect innocence in their own children. It’s what inspires us to reach into new generations to love and appreciate what we once had and cannot truly have again. We can only relive this beautiful time again through observing it in the lives of children.
I have daughters ranging in age rom 7 to 18 and close extended family up to 81. My eyes are wide open. My whole family is a living lesson in lifespan development. While each stage of development from conception to death must be completed, I know we can go through each stage gracefully or not. My prayer for my daughters is that they go through each stage gracefully. As I say that, a twinge of regret goes through my heart because I know I haven’t always been as available to help some of them go through one or more stages as gracefully as I wanted to.
I appreciate so much the relationships that my daughters have with other women in our family and friends. I see that some of the spaces I didn’t quite fill are filling with influence from these women. There is always more growth to come, more cracks to fill. Indeed, my heart and mind are still developing and spaces are being filled through the love and influence of the people God placed in my life. So much can be gained by creating a community for our children where they are cherished and free to change and grow.
While I would like my girls to enjoy freedom and innocence forever, I know they’ll eventually exchange their childlike perspectives for a manmade looking glass – at least for a time. Once they look into it, they’ll study themselves more closely. At times, they won’t like what they see. If they’re like most other women, they’ll struggle through life trying not to let their reflection catch their eye. In today’s self-centered society, my baby girl will go through these stages. It’s coming. Meanwhile, Mama needs to teach her in word and action to choose to look through God’s lens of truth and love.