Feeling Legitimate as a Parent (After 7 Years)

Today, my oldest daughter turned seven.  Seven years old.  Somehow having a child this age brings an air of legitimacy to this whole parenting gig.  I often feel like I'm still learning the ropes of motherhood, still testing the waters, still hoping that I'm getting things right (enough).

I've been feeling this way for seven years, give or take a few days when I either felt that I had my act together entirely (I am mother. Hear me roar!) or when I crashed into a deep abyss convinced that I've irrevocably scarred her for life with some horrifying combination of my impatience, my anger management failings, my forgetfulness as a Tooth Fairy, too many chicken nuggets, too much television, and one bad haircut when I trimmed her bangs to roughly one centimeter in length.

Despite all of this, she's turning out just fine.

Not just fine -- amazing.

Last night I tucked her into bed -- her last ever tuck-in as a six-year-old -- and I laid down beside her.  I told her about the first moment I laid eyes on her: how I knew that she was amazing then, and how seven years later I continue to be utterly convinced of the very same thing.

They steal your hearts, these kids.  You're never the same.   For seven years, I've been entirely undone.

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  1. Mine just turned 7 last month.... she amazes me and drives me nuts everyday. How did that crazy, hyper kid ever fit inside my body? Where does the time go?

  2. Bmandrews31April 15, 2012

    My own age (43) has never bothered me, but when my girl turned 16 last Saturday it took my breath away! How fast this journey is speeding by! Her Confirmation next month will be my proudest/hardest moment to date. The young woman she is becoming is so exciting to watch!

  3. My oldest turned 7 on the first, it's so amazing to see what a young lady she is becoming.  It's true that time flies, and I can't believe my kiddos are getting so big without my permission :o)

  4. It's amazing how having kids change everything.  Especially your heart. And I think you are doing a fantastic job.

  5. Yes, they really never do ask for permission, do they?

  6.  Sixteen!  Congrats to you and to her!  A whole new world!

  7. And I thank you wholeheartedly.

  8. Oh...how I needed to visit your blog!  Thank you for continuing to inspire me with your writing.  My mother always told me that it's simply impossible to understand the love a parent feels for their child unless they are one.  After nearly two years of parenthood, I know just how right she is.  Trying to put into words everything I hope and dream and want for my son renders me speechless.  And the prayer that I am doing "alright" by him is a daily one...  That said, his sweet smile, hugs and kisses make me feel like I'm on the right track.  And, friend, I think you are DEFINITELY on the right track.  Congratulations on seven years!


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