The other day I was talking to a friend who frequently spends time with my three and a half year old daughter in a group setting. She remarked that Clara “marches to her own beat,” and that she is a “free spirit.” Now, I know every mother has her own things that make her beam with pride, but hearing these observations was music to this mother’s ears.
Yesterday evening my husband was watching Clara color. He later asked me, “Do you think you should teach her how to color in the lines?”
This is a question I have asked myself more than once. I have even half-heartedly suggested to my Little Spark that maybe she should try staying in the lines. Those words tasted bitter as they escaped my lips, lips with a history of singing their own tunes.
I’m sure throughout her life my girl will be told, in one way or another, to stay in the lines. I know she will receive this message many times from many people. I hope I will never again be one to dissuade her from veering toward the beautifully unexpected.
I hope that what she will find in my guidance is courage to embrace the gifts given to her, hope that her gifts will be recognized and embraced, and patience with her own heart when she is neither recognized nor embraced.
Because why would I want to change something this amazing?