Every very-new-mama must come to accept certain truths in her own time, even though many before her told her it would be so. It usually only sinks in when she experiences it for herself, and then says, "oh, that's what they were talking about!"
I've been thinking about fingerprints.
We all have them. They are a part of what make us human. And yet each one is different. Not even my girls, if they do happen to be identical twins, will have exactly the same ones.
What I like about this comparison is the freedom it offers, especially as I often compare myself to others and find myself wanting.
If not all fingerprints can ever be exactly alike, then I do not have to worry about comparing my mother-print to your mother-print, or to anyone else's. I can admire it, think about it, and find similarities, but there will always be differences. That is a good thing.
This applies to raising my daughters, too.
I want them to be loving, kind, generous, ambitious, empathetic, funny, empowered, and so many other things. But right now, they are just pooping their pants and fussing as their teeth come in. It's about what works. I can't plop them down and teach them anything right now. I can only model, and hope they sense it in me, like they sense the mother's milk they love so, or pick it up from my behavior, or are bestowed with it through my short but intense prayers for them.
But they have their own prints, too, formed in the womb by Someone other than me.
So, as I raise these girls, will I draw attention to their uniqueness, their gifts, and their one-of-a-kind-ness, or, as someone who likes control, will I assume that they are just like me and treat them accordingly?
Will I paint their hands, press them on a piece of paper, and point out their special-ness? Embroider them like the photo above? (Thank you, Pinterest.)
Teach them how to express their emotions and feelings, even if it goes against the status quo or what they think is expected of them? That it is OK if they don't see eye to eye with me, even though it might hurt my ego?
Let me remember that they are not me, and I am not them. We share genes and blood and traits and inclinations and many other things. We will share full years together of laughter, tears, tantrums, and special memories.
Our fingerprints are all over each other, but they'll always be different.
Linking up w/Just Write @ the EO and the Practices of Parenting Carnival @ Emerging Mummy.