I don't understand her at all, this little golden haired child of mine. I adore her, I admire her, and I wish to God I could be just like her.
But I don't understand her.
I've lived my life being afraid. Feeling inadequate. Feeling unintelligent. I've never felt like I belonged anywhere to anything.
She, on the other hands, fits right in no matter where she is. Absolutely everyone loves her. She handles every situation with a cool grace that is unusual for a child her age. She makes straight A's in school. And? She's gorgeous. The child has legs up to her neck and dimples which require their own zip code.
It's taken me a long time to admit this, but I think?
I might be a little jealous of her.
Jealous of my own child.
It's ridiculous really. But at times I've found myself feeling unnecessarily annoyed with her. At the little things she does. At how she follows me around endlessly wanting sections of the newspaper that I'm reading. How if I say, "Did you do your homework?" it's already done and all correct and she's reading Harry Potter and eating a brownie and never gains any weight.
Jealous. Of my own child.
I squash these feelings, honestly. I think she has absolutely no idea I feel this way. I always have smiles for her, and love. She's a really terrific kid. I'm awfully proud of her. I think it's not really, real actual jealously I feel toward her, it's just longing. Just wishing that my life more mirrored hers.
Most of the time, I just wish I could be more like her.
This morning as we walked through the frigid air into the warmth of the fellowship hall, the Girl asked, "Whose turn is it to sit next to you?"
The Boy and the Girl? Always want to take turns sitting next to me.
I put my arm around her and told her she could sit beside me.
So she did. She slid in first, then me, then the Boy, and then Jason.
The girl had on a purple dress today. I had on a purple sweater. She had carefully picked out earrings which were purple stars. I noticed and told her how proud I was that she was making such a good effort to match her pretty earrings with her clothing so well. She smiled her dimpled smile.
It was time to sing and we stood up. I held the hymnal between us.
I've sang for years and years. I quasi-learned to read music when I was a young kid, taking piano lessons from a mean lady who looked like an owl, but I really, really learned to sing when I was in the 9th grade and in chorus in my high school. Because of that high school chorus I had many opportunities to sing, in a variety of places.
I could hear myself singing the old hymns. My voice, I'll admit, is good. I don't sing loudly, but my voice is strong. It is sure. It is steady.
The girl child followed along with my finger and began to sing. Loudly.
Loudly and horribly, horribly off-key.
So much so, that I began to chuckle. It started out as a slight giggle in my throat and then I had to stop singing because I couldn't control it.
This perfect little child? Cannot carry a tune in a bucket.
I looked down at her and she was totally oblivious to the fact that I was laughing. She was busy.
She was busy singing.
So full and sincere was this child's heart, that she was singing. Loudly and off-key, but she was singing her heart out.
Psalms 100:1 - Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
This was her joyful noise.
It also occurred to me, just then, that the major difference between the Girl and I is that she was in no way bothered by the fact that she doesn't have the most beautiful voice in the room. She was there with a pure heart, lifting her voice to the Lord. Only because she wanted to sing. Only because she was unafraid. Only because she was enjoying the message and not worried about what anyone would think of her.
I realized that is why she excels at life, whereas I suck at it.
She doesn't worry about what anyone else thinks. She worries about what she thinks.
I realized, again, for the millionth time that I am blessed with an amazing child.
But I won't be jealous of her anymore. I'll just try to be more like her. Because who she is? Is awesome.
The singing was over and we sat down, side by side. I whispered to her,
"You are such an enthusiastic singer!"
And she smiled that smile. Those dimples.
She's my girl.