She’s 12 years old now. She’s blossomed from a little girl who came to us at one year old and was scared of her new daddy for months, to this strong, opinionated young woman.
I’m gonna be a bit vulnerable here and say Naomi has often been a challenge for me. Or maybe I should say I have had a challenge with her.
This girl is smart, observant, funny, kind and incredibly thoughtful. She has given me gifts that were so touching they made me cry. She is also headstrong, stubborn, incredibly emotional (anyone need extra hormones? I think we have PLENTY around our house!) and makes decisions that make my head spin.
I’m going to be brutally honest, and say that it’s been hard. Like, really hard. Much of the time, I adore being with my daughter, but some of the time, I dread having to be subject to the…let’s just call it “wrath” that comes from her. I’ll admit, I have begun to forge a bit of a wall between the two of us…I suppose it’s my instinct to separate myself when someone’s behavior is toxic. But, she’s my daughter, and I don’t ever want to allow a divide to come between us. And I also know that many of her most difficult traits right now will most likely be her biggest attributes later in life.
While commiserating with my dear girlfriends the other night, one of them suggested a “back and forth” journal that Naomi and I could write to each other in. Maybe it could be a way for us to communicate on a deeper level, reconnect us, and help us see each other for the humans that we are.
I picked up this adorable mom/daughter journal on Amazon and being the impatient woman that I am, I gave it to Naomi last weekend instead of waiting until her birthday. I write on the left side, and she writes on the right. There’s no timetable; the other person can respond when she feels it is the right time. Some pages are blank, some have questions to answer.
So far, it has been a godsend. Because even when we have the most challenging day, we still connect via this journal. Sometimes we can be more vulnerable when we write than when we say something to someone else’s face. It’s already a blessing, and I’m looking forward to seeing how our relationship develops this next year!
All that to say….happy birthday to my oldest daughter, Naomi! May this year be the beginning of a deeper, more fruitful relationship for both of us!