Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Note to My Daughters: Delight and Disappointment

This past Sunday, I had conflicting feelings. I was delighted and disappointed - all at the same time.

Knowing my girls might have those two feelings walk hand in hand sometime in their future,  I wanted to let them know what I did with that tricky situation.

First, let me set things up.

We came home from lunch and my three youngest daughters started making plans to play tennis. Of those three, we have one tennis player (Mary Grace) and two tennis attempters (Faith and Elizabeth). My tennis player had texted a couple of other tennis player friends to see if they could hit with her while the attempters whacked the ball around, but Memorial Day festivities were in full swing for everybody, and nobody who could actually hit a tennis ball was available. It would just have to be the three of them.

I could hear the happy chatter coming from the upstairs as they decided who was going to wear which cute tennis skirt. Elizabeth was the first down and as she was filling up her water bottle, I casually wondered out loud if I should go and hit with Mary Grace to give her more of a "real" workout. Elizabeth, very kindly, said, "I don't know. You could ask her."

And it was then I immediately knew I shouldn't ask her.

Their tennis outing on Sunday wasn't about tennis or any kind of real workout. It was about three girls being together on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. It was about riding to the courts with the windows down and the music turned up. It was about being with one of their kind. And while I'm dearly loved by all of them, it was time to be mom-less.

Hence the tinge of disappointment for me. And it really was just a tinge. Quickly chasing that tinge was the delight I felt for them. These three, though vastly different from and sometimes pretty annoying to each other, were seriously enjoying one another's company. They were bouncing through and out of the house feeling young and pretty and independent. And close. Like sisters.

Seeing your children enjoy each other brings a happiness to a mom's heart that's difficult to surpass.

So there I was, genuinely delighted and slightly disappointed - all at the same time. Which brings me to what I really want to say to my girls. And, even though my oldest, Hannah, was enjoying time at the lake with her husband when her sisters were teaching me this object lesson, she's on my mind as I type.

Don't base what you do and how you act on your feelings. You can have more than one at the same time. You can have one feeling one minute, and a completely opposite one the next. If you go down the feeling road, you will say and do things you regret.

Tell yourself the truth and act on that.

I'm pretty confident that none of my girls knew I was slightly conflicted on Sunday, which is such a success for me. Believe me, there have been many occasions when, because of fear and/or hurt feelings, I have "spit in their soup." I could have done some serious spitting in their little tennis outing if I'd "jokingly" said  something to the effect of, "Go ahead and have fun! Don't mind me here all by myself."

How nice it was to send them off with, "Have fun!"

"Have fun, my young and pretty and independent girls!"

Faith, Elizabeth, Mary Grace

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