The daughter I dreamed of was a princess, wearing pink ruffles and lace, dancing around rooms elegantly and peacefully having tea parties with her dolls. The daughter I dreamed of was blonde with blue eyes like ice, always in frilly dresses and dainty shoes.
However, the daughter I dreamed of was not the daughter I have, and that’s okay.
The daughter I have is rambunctious, mud-loving, loud and fearless.
The daughter I have despises dresses and all things girly. She is forever barefoot and adorning rompers that give her the full range of motion to get in as much trouble possible.
The daughter I have has wild, brunette hair and deep blue eyes like that of a moody ocean on the cusp of a storm.
The daughter I have dances like no one’s watching, headbanging like a rock star from the ’90s.
The daughter I have doesn’t take “no” for an answer and constantly pushes the boundaries.
The daughter I have is not the daughter I dreamed of, and that’s okay.
What do you do when you realize that all you dreamed of isn’t what the future holds? You look up to the skies and laugh at the universe’s sense of humor. I dreamed of the daughter I thought I wanted, but I got the one I needed.
My beautiful, crazy, spontaneous little girl makes sure no two days are the same. She never fails to make me laugh until my sides hurt, her crooked, mischievous smile lights up every room. She pushes every button I have until I swear I could strangle her and then she’ll stop and dance on the spot and I’m suddenly angry no longer.
My daughter toddles around the house leaving a path of destruction in her wake like that of a category-five hurricane, helping herself to the pots and pans in the cupboards, splashing in our dog’s water bowl, unfolding the laundry and finally pulling all her books off the shelf into one big pile of clutter. Then she scales her slide, stands up straight, daringly letting go of the sides and lets out a scream akin to a tribal war cry. It’s almost as if she is proclaiming her conquest “I came, I saw, I destroyed!”
I look around at the destruction, and part of me wants to cry but I look into those indigo eyes and see the intrepid little goddess within and I forget the mess and, like my daughter, revel in the mayhem.
It’s funny how the world works and served me with precisely what I needed. My daughter showed me how to relax and rejoice in the mess of life. I no longer worry about the little stuff (or the big things, like that pile of laundry that needs folding). I’ve learned how to sit back and enjoy the chaos, the fleeting moments, the times that I will one day look back and miss.
So, if your child isn’t the one you dreamed of, that’s okay. Instead of dwelling on the what ifs and the could’ve beens, think of all the wondrous lessons you can learn from them. Our daughters, our punky, unruly, boisterous, daughters, have so much to offer this world. They are the future of womankind and the world better be ready, for when they come they will take it head on, guns a blazing.
Sometimes when my daughter is soaking in the mud about to put yet another bug in her mouth (yes this happens more often than I would like to admit) I think of the daughter I dreamed of—that blonde-haired, dainty princess practicing ballet while listening to Beethoven. Then I realize that I am lucky to have a daughter who is audacious and fun-filled, who will never leave a person in her life feeling dull or bored. A daughter who will take life head-on, shattering ceilings and breaking down walls.
As I sit in my rocking chair, typing this, and watching my girl splash in mud holes and crawl around the grass chasing our exasperated dog, I think about how grateful I am that I was given this little free spirit and that I get to watch her grow in all her muddy, bug-eating, wild-haired glory.
I dreamed of the daughter I thought I wanted, but I got the exact one I needed.