I came in from my run last night to find that both girls had been crying pretty much the whole time I’d been gone. I knew it wasn’t a good night when I heard C calling for me. She’s a daddy’s girl so it’s rare when she wants me. So I went in and chatted with her. Soon, it became clear that I was actually part of the reason she couldn’t sleep. She was worried about two things: starting school and me going back to work. As we talked, her fears were palpable and I suddenly remembered the nights I spent paralyzed with fear, bawling my eyes out while listing hundreds of worries to my mother who tried to be patient but also just wanted to go to bed. I felt guilty that I had passed my penchant for worrying on to my daughter.
Of course, her fears are completely normal, and she is a good decade away from the height of my anxiety. But it made me think about what I want to pass on to her.
- Fitness. We were shoe shopping today and in addition to walking, running and jumping in each pair of shoes she tried on, she also insisted on doing jump squats and jumping jacks. I drew the line at burpees. I’m probably the fittest I’ve been my whole life and I’m glad she’s noticing and taking an interest too.
- Reading. I love that she loves books. I love that our books are all out in the open. I do wish she would catch me reading more, but that would generally mean actually reading more.
- Music. We listen to music at breakfast and lunch, alternating who gets to choose the soundtrack. Music has always spoken to me so I’m glad she is taking an interest too. She also likes to join me when I play piano and once she gets her ukelele (and other assorted musical instruments as well) for her birthday, I’m sure she’ll join me on guitar as well.
- Family. This week felt weird because I only saw my mom twice, and my sister once. The fact that we live in the same city as Scott’s brother but haven’t seen him in over two months weirds me out. I hope she makes family the same priority I do.
- Gifts of the hands. Despite my earlier desires to be a writer, I inevitably find myself at a loss for words when actually interacting with humans when it comes to conveying emotion. I’m much more at ease making something – sewing a gift, knitting a scarf, baking cookies. While I hope she has better interpersonal skills, I also hope she finds a creative outlet that she shares with others.