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My daughter is not my mini-me, and I don't want her to be

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You can tell by her smile and the way she raises one eyebrow that there are things I passed down to her. You can tell by the way she expressively talks with her hands and laughs with her mouth wide open that some of my habits have become hers. You can tell by her size 10 feet or the blonde streaks in her hair. You can tell by the gait in her walk or the sarcasm in her talk. There are a million ways you can tell that she belongs to me.

But even with all those traits, habits, and similarities, she is not my mini-me. She is not me. She is her. And my job is to nourish who she chooses to be and not pressure her to be what I want her to be, or better yet, who I wanted to be.

She is not my mini-me. She is not me. She is her.

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I cheered for the players, but she took the courts. I wanted to serve the hungry, but she wants to serve the sick. I wanted to stay in place, but she wants to find something fresh.

Sometimes she’s just like me. Other times I have to squint to catch even the slightest glimpse of me in her.

Because she is not my mini-me. She is not me. She is her.

My fear of failure seeped out of me and crept its way into her and my encouragement melted into pressure, confusing her along the way. My desire for perfection and approval became a weight around her ankles, and I tried to force her reflection to resemble mine.

So, I had to learn to let her be average at things I loved and amazing at things I didn’t understand. I had to let her fail at things, excel at things, and fall flat on her face without picking her up. For her to soar with the wings I helped her grow, I had to learn to let her be her and accept that she is not me.

Because she is not my mini-me. She is not me. She is her.

She is not my mini-me and I never want her to be. I want her to be the most unique her she could possibly be. My heart will forever skip a beat when someone expresses our physical similarities or tells her they hear my voice when she speaks. She is her, and I am me, and speckles of who I am might be sprinkled on her face like freckles on freshly sun-kissed skin, but she is a masterpiece all on her own.

And with one hand placed gently on her back giving her a nudge, and one hand high in the air cheering her on, I’ll take a step back and watch her be her.

Because she is not my mini-me. She is not me. She is her.

Originally posted on Alamo City Moms Blog

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