My child has her very first school project due soon. How do I have a child old enough, wise enough, strong enough to face these kinds of things? How did we get here?
She's a perfectionist. I'm learning that this is a very difficult characteristic to parent. Sometimes I just want to scream, "Hurry up already!?!? Just spell the word wrong for all I care. Color outside the lines. Stop crying and asking for white out or erasers or wanting to redo it all. Just make mistakes and quit covering them up!!!!" But, she's just like me. I can't make her not be. She is who she is all on her own, and she's beautiful, and frustrating, and exhausting, and emotional. She works so hard. I just can't believe we're here... Both of us old enough to be working on school projects. My job is to let her do it the way she wants... even if it takes all week, and her job is to remind me that it's not my project, and it will be perfect.
This really isn't about a school project, even. It's about the girl doing it. She's just so precious. Sometimes I feel bad that she's so grown up for seven. Sometimes I wish she were more carefree, more childlike, more of a free spirit only because I know how hard she is on herself.
This child who made me a mama also made me the proudest mama. We've grown up together learning how to do these kinds of things. We're learning our roles, not only for school projects, but in the bigger picture that God has designed for us.
She reminds me to be softer. She reminds me not to rush. She reminds me that my words aren't just mine, and that people are affected by them. She shows me how much good there is in the world, and she looks at me with so much hope. Her eyes tell me she needs me to be tender with her even though she's a force to be reckoned with. She's had to show me more grace than anyone ever has, but she's done it with a heart wide open. I'm pretty sure I'm the hardest project she'll forever work on. I'll never be complete. She's making me better though, and I love her for that.