Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Daughter I See SOL Day 14

Some traditions with our children never go away, they may change along the way, but thank goodness they don't go away.  One tradition that my girls and I shared was a conversation journal.  The conversational journal was a special tradition between my girls and me.  I started these journals with each of girls when they were in first grade. The thought was this would be a good writing strategy to build writing skills and we would just have fun!  

The way the journal worked was whoever had the journal would write to the other. Once you had written your message the journal was then placed on the pillow of the other.  I always loved coming to bed at night to find the journal on my pillow. The original notes were filled with hearts, rainbows and I Love Yous! It was always gushing love of the other and wishing the other more rainbows, and hearts and XOXO's.  These were the easy days, days when the hard part of parenting was the physical exhaustion. 

Fast-forward about ten years.  The conversation journals have been replaced with hours of homework, hours at the dance studio where she pours out her passion and erases the pressure of the day, occasional table chats and text messages.  Text messages and table chats  keep us connected and are still filled with I love you and XOXO's, but they aren't regular and they don't great me as my head meets the pillow.  These are the challenging days of being a parent, it's disjointed, it's emotional. 

Just the other night Livi, left me a note on my pillow. This note was there as I my head hit the pillow and it came from Livi's heart, it contained an I love you, but something had changed.  Unlike the rainbows and the XOXO's this note was filled with self doubt and an apology for not being smarter in school and warning me that her life would be less than desirable because of her academic performance. 

Livi is an amazing young woman! She dances about 15 hours a week, assist her teachers at school, works with her dance company to provide community service and all along maintains honor roll status each grading period with a schedule full of  honors and AP classes.  Livi measures herself only by academic numbers (that our schools and society give daily). 

She doesn't see what I see-

I see an incredible young woman
    who follows her dreams no matter the cost. 
I see a young woman 
    determined to be independent and strong. 
I see a young woman
    intelligent in ways our schools don't measure.  
I see a young woman confused
    measuring her value in ways that don't count. 
I see a woman with resolve-
    to make a difference in our world. 
I see you my daughter
    creative, beautiful strong and loved. 

Tonight the young woman I see was inducted into the National Honor Society, tonight was the night when others saw what I see. 

Tomorrow night Livi will get this post on her pillow. 

Thank You TWT for hosting this challenge


  1. Every daughter should have a mother like you! Your daughter will love this tribute to her. She will treasure it for years to come.

  2. What a beautiful tradition and what an amazing daughter! I hurt for all our children who hear our society's message that your score (on a test or GPA) is the most important measure of your worth. I see many of my students beaten down by that. I hope your daughter learns to see herself as you see her. She sounds like quite a girl.

  3. That's a wonderful tradition, it's allowed you a peek into the hearts and souls of your kids. Congratulations, Livi...and Livi's mama, too!

  4. So many 'outside' influences tell us who we are. I hope Livi most of all believes you, Deb, the one who knows her best. With all her academic challenges and the dancing too, I am amazed that she can keep up! Congratulations on being in the National Honor Society, a wonderful honor. I love hearing about your conversational journal-another gift you gave each other.

  5. Deb, this post really touched me. No, I will not cry!
    My daughter is a lovely young woman as well and she had doubted herself. I so wish these young women would see themselves as we do. They are amazing! thanks for sharing. I am sure your daughter will be touched by your words and know how much she is loved. Congratulations to her!

  6. Deb, what a beautiful love letter to Livi. She's lucky to have you as her mom and you're lucky to have her as your girl. Don't you remember when the kids were little and we thought parenting was so hard. Now that they're grown up, we know that those were much easier parenting days than those we have now. Congratulations to Livi.

  7. What a fantastic tradition and all the memories you've built over the years. I hope this helps Livi see beyond her own insecurities and self-doubt to all she is and can be.

  8. Deb,
    Congratulations to Livi. I know she will continue to accomplish great things. I'm not really sure how she does it. The dance schedules are grueling and go on across the year; yet she dances and keeps up with the requirements of school. Way to go!


  9. Beautiful! I would love to know what she said when she saw this post! I'm sure she felt loved and validated and not one bit rejected because she feels she doesn't measure up. Our society is backwards so parents and teachers need to value all that are children are and make sure they know this themselves so they can confront whatever adversity comes their way.

    1. She simply cried…tears of relief i believe.

  10. Awww! She also cried tears of love. Wonderful!