Things My Daughter Has Taught Me....

Today I celebrate the 27th birthday of my only daughter, born on a day much like today; softly snowing and feeling like the beginning of winter.

And today I want to reflect on a few of the ways my life has been

changed by this momentous event.

I know many lovely people who have never had children. They are kind, compassionate, generous, giving, forgiving, etc. And I marvel that they can

be that way even though they have never had the benefit of being taught the

way I have been by parenting, and seeing the many ways I was not all of those things. I probably had way more to learn than they did.

Something about the all-consuming responsibility that comes with parenting, the sleepless nights, the sickness, the worry about never getting it right, the worry about something terrible happening to my children, the worry about everything….

What is required of you is staggering, but you do it because you are hopelessly in love. You are bonded to this tiny, helpless, dependent being and you rise to the challenge. And if you were a little hard on your own parents for not getting it all right sometimes, you soften a little, because you realize that it is impossible to get it right all of the time. You also realize that one of life’s most worthwhile

endeavours is to try to be a better person so that you can be worthy of what has been entrusted to you. It is no small thing.

It has been said that our children are our greatest teachers, and I agree. But my children have not only taught me to be a better person for them, they have taught me

to be a better person because of who they are.

My daughter who I am celebrating today is not only beautiful, funny, and really smart, my daughter is also one of the most giving, generous and compassionate people I know. She helps me to see the gifts in people I would have otherwise missed. She fights for what she believes in with a fierceness that belies her size. And if she sees someone being mistreated, she will go toe to toe with their abuser and let them know just what she thinks of their behaviour.

My daughter is an excellent friend. She treats friendship like an Olympic sport - she truly cares and she makes the effort that causes relationships to flourish because she takes the time to send the text, make the phone call, FaceTime, email, and spend good old fashioned quality time.

So today I am grateful for what my daughter has taught me. I am grateful for what she has shown me about how to love people. My daughter is not only what a beautiful person looks like, she is who a beautiful person is. She has never said a word to me about what it takes to be giving, generous and compassionate. Or how to fight for what is right, or how to be a friend. She has simply been all of those things and I have had the privilege of learning from her example. And that, I believe, is worth celebrating.

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