Listening To My Daughter

I’m far from the perfect mother. As a matter of fact, I screw up all the time. One thing I know for sure, I love my girls. The other day, my youngest daughter and I had a discussion and she told me that she’s been through a lot, moving 5 times in the last 7 years. Having to try to reconnect with people she hasn’t seen in years. I couldn’t argue with her or pull the mother hand and tell her to shut up. I just listened.

I listened because I grew up in the same house, attended one elementary, junior and high school. We didn’t move at all. I listened because I’m not a product of divorced parents, step father and step brothers and sisters. I listened because I needed to hear her side of the story. I needed to hear her truth and sometimes the truth hurts. Ouch….

When I told my girls that we were moving again, I knew it wasn’t going to be received by them well at all. Maya told me she didn’t want to go, although at first, I tried to tell her she had to go. Jade wasn’t happy, but then she masked it by telling me she could reconnect with her BFF in St Louis. She’s done that, but she wasn’t completely honest with how she really felt. It wasn’t gonna change the outcome, but she should have told me how she felt.

A typical teenager, she wants to fit in but doesn’t because she understands she’s different. She’s smart, reads 3-4 books at a time, theater junkie, great singer, musician, and Thespian. She is a jeans and sneaker kind of girl. She told me the other day that she was helping a boy in Spanish class and he told her, “Good thing you are smart because I just thought you were annoying.” My heart sunk for her and of course, I wanted to know if she had a clap back for that fool. Yes, I called him that. She’s not me and I was disappointed that she didn’t say anything to him. She picks her battles and I’m sure she didn’t say anything because she’s trying to find where she fits in.

We were strict parents, didn’t allow any and everything. Did she mess up? You bet she did, but she paid for her mistakes and learned from them. I believe we experience mistakes to ground us and keep us on the path, especially when you are younger. That’s my prayer for my children.

Jade is very proper, and as my people say, “talks like a white girl”. That annoys her and me too. I wanted my children to speak proper English, understand their culture and be proud of who they are. Hell, she gets plenty of her “ghetto-ness” from me and her dad. It still bothers her and she told me this while crying. I explained and told her to keep pushing, she will find her place in this crazy world. I wanted to make this better for her, but I can’t. My heart broke for my baby, it really did.

I apologized to my daughter for the many moves and why they were necessary. She understands but wanted to be heard. I listened to my daughter and our conversation is still with me.

I’m glad I listened to my daughter. I love you Jadie Poo.

 

Whitney

4 Replies to “Listening To My Daughter”

  1. I too was that girl who stayed in a book. I was actually locked into the library at one point in my life. I was so smart that I had to dumb myself down to not be teased worse mistake of my life. I missed out on scholarships and awards because I wanted to fit in instead of standing out. Tell your daughter to stand out and be proud of who she is. I have learned that the more you stand out the more people remember you and if people remember you, you will go far. No one remembers the boring person that fits in.

    1. I sure will Kita, she’s true to herself, she’s just starting to mature and needed me to listen to her and I did. I will show your response to her. Thanks.

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