The thing I love most about my little girls is that they've taught me to appreciate different talents far more than I ever could have imagined. Growing up, I was always the one who was different, and didn't fit in with any of my family. I always wished I could be more like them, more of what they wanted me to be, and yet, I was just... me.
So when I was blessed with two little girls who were like me in some ways, but really different in others, I decided to embrace them. I love them for their differences and their different talents.
This is my princess. She has two main goals in life: 1. To be a varsity cheerleader, and 2. To be a singer on stage. In this picture, she's living her dream because the part you don't see are the varsity cheerleaders around her doing their routine. Her dance instructor is a cheer coach at one of the local high schools, so my little one gets to meet lots of cheerleaders. You also don't see that she is on a stage, and after her routine, she was up there, dancing and singing. She is learning to play the piano, and even though she'd much rather sing, we're hoping that this will teach her the notes and the discipline needed to be everything she wants.
I never signed up to be the mother of a singing cheerleader. My friends and I groan at the thought of being cheer moms, but we never do it in a way that discourages our girls' dreams. And who knows, maybe one day, she'll have a hit like "Call Me Maybe," her favorite song, and my friends and I can laugh about these days while sitting on the beach, drinking Mojitos.
This is my cowgirl. She's the one standing on the horse and waving. Her dream involves breeding and training horses. We spend 2-3 days a week at the arena, where she takes care of horses, rides, and hangs out with her horse buddies. I never thought I'd say this, but hopefully someday, we'll have a place where we can own our own horses so she can spend every day living her dream.
If you know me, you know that I'm not terribly fond of horses. Scratch that. I like horses just fine. But they stink, they poop, and I'm allergic to both them and hay. So to have a horse-loving daughter is a pretty interesting experience. I could let hubby take her to her rides every week, or like many parents there, drop her off with a kiss, and go about my business. But let me let you in on a little secret. There is something magical about watching my daughter ride. I come home every Saturday exhausted and barely able to breathe. But the big grin on her face makes it worth it.
I think about how I have such different little girls, and how much joy they bring to my life. Sure, there are a million other things I could be doing besides listening to my little one play "Fuzzy Wuzzy" a thousand times a day. (I wish that were an exaggeration.) I'd love to attend more local writer's groups that meet on Saturdays when my daughter rides.
But one day, they will be gone... hopefully one will be touring the world like the diva she is, and the other will be on top of a mountain somewhere, riding her horse. Or maybe these are just phases my kids will have outgrown, and they'll be doing other things. Either way, I hope I've given them the tools they need to succeed. I hope I've communicated to them that it's okay to be different, and that I embrace who they are. Even the smelly parts.