Rearing daughters is getting scarier by the day. They are morphing without the protection and privacy of a cacoon shrouding the process. Unlike the butterfly, the teenager's metamorphasis from child to woman is entirely on display, even more so when they're the pastor's kids—daughters no less. And these days with instant messaging, cell phones that text, and Facebook, the internet is another whole world that is a stage. So with the adolescent desire to be center-stage, I think I'm doomed.
But growing up can be messy business, so you can't fault a mom for wishing for a little privacy and a scrap of dignity. These years involve discovering so many things: where they fit in socially, who they are, what notions they will embrace, what voices they will heed, whom they will emulate. I know there will be mistakes and mis-steps a-plenty.
It's enough to make a mom want to lock Rapunzel and her sister in a tower and wait for a few Prince Charmings who will deem them worth both the climbing effort and the wait for hair to grow long enough. It's also a built-in way to weed out the less-than-charming princes who were unconvinced that our daughters' virtue was worth their gallent effort. But alas, the wonder of fairy tales is indeed pixie dust. Not to mention that they won't understand this love until they are on the mom side, because, after all, even to me it seems a tad irrational.
Yet sometimes I do wish I could send them to their room until they were mature and level-headed, ready to take on the whole world with grace. But how is that really going to happen in their room, with only orange and green daisys and a Selena Gomez poster silently staring back at them?
How I wish they could skip the clumsy mistakes of these years. Skip right over the wondering if they're pretty, smart, cool, witty, worthy of another's affections. Skip being crushed by a comment, a look, a rejection. How much angst will they spend on feeling they aren't good enough? (Enough for what?) That they measure up to whom, exactly? If only they could know who they are without these experiences, know it by faith rather than by trial ... and trial ... and error.
And yet, I don't want to hold them back. I wish them to stretch and grow and become all God has for them. I want them to find their way, discover their world, their place in it, and walk fearless with God as their leader. I hope they know their dad and I are behind them to propel them forward by love.
This is the way towards the horizon and setting sun and happily ever after, with or without a Prince Charming. The way can be graceful if they know who they are, Whose they are, and who's behind them. It is possible to go far and go well.
Maybe I'm not doomed after all. Maybe my wishes for my misses just might serve them better than pixie dust after all.