Since I was five years old, my family noticed there was something “special” about me.
I’m not sure if it was what they saw in my eyes, or the ballerina-like grace with which I walked, posed and fluttered about whenever music was playing. My mother’s best friend watched in awe and said, “oh she’s an oooold soul.”
I used to take this as the highest compliment. It defined me. I relished in the thought that I was in some way more spiritually advanced and mature than my peers.
When my mom needed advice, she’d ask me. When my grandma wanted to have a theoretical conversation about creation or wildlife, I was her gal.
But really, I didn’t know shit.
I was nothing more than a sweet kid with a good head on my shoulders. Looking back, I can see how all those “old soul,” “wiser than your years,” statements do nothing but set someone up for failure. Reality, (that your shit does in fact stink) is a massive let down.
Because really, I am no more advanced than the next person! (as if that needed to be said)
I mean come on, what the hell? That is a mighty big pedestal to be placed on. It’s literally asking for me to grow a triple-sized head. Thanks a lot folks.
This ultimate (“oh duh”) discovery, dawned on me very recently. I’m talking this past New Years kind of recent. Not that I walked around thinking I was hot to trot – no, no, I’m way to self-conscious to ever think that. But I held on to a fair amount of pride. And it wasn’t serving me or anyone else.
Around New Years of 2011 I had a few insert-shoe-in-mouth humbling moments that lead up to quite a powerful conversation between my fiance and I.
Ever since, I feel like I’m growing up. Really growing up. There is SO much I don’t know!
These feelings have been intensified by my pregnancy and moving into a new home. It would make sense that this combination would make me more mature mom, no?
Just imagine this scene:
My daughter and I are driving back to the lake house from being “in town” in Kalamazoo. It’s a warm Spring day. The radio is playing and windows are open just enough to let in a soft breeze that plays with Ella’s hair. Ten minutes later, she’s fast asleep.
Looking in the rear-view mirror, I am suddenly struck with nostalgia. That was me. Not so long ago, I was Ella, falling asleep in the back seat on the way back home…
I have, without conscious awareness, adopted a role of motherhood that makes me feel more like a mother than ever.
And that way of mothering that I am reminiscing of will take more work; assuming more responsibility by leaning on others less.
I realized I am going to be the one making and hosting family dinners now. The torch has silently been passed. My little family is growing and my fiance and I are the new leaders.
I am embracing my life with a new found strength and appreciation. I’m no longer the “wise” child, I am the budding woman and mother raising the next generation of our family.
I no longer wish to be older, or to be anywhere other than than the exact place I am today.