Exactly a year ago I wrote about being a Memory Keeper when it comes to the memories my husband and I shared. Today my youngest daughter is twelve and I decided to re-read what I had written (The Memory Keeper). After reading it, I came to the conclusion that I still have very similar feelings. There is still someone amazing missing from our everyday lives, but as each year passes I feel a greater sense of peace and contentment. I can not really explain why or how but I have this great sense that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am living the life and learning the lessons that come from experiencing great change in your life. It might be hard to understand that losing a loved one and being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease could be gifts, but that is exactly how I view them. The alternative is just too sad and totally unhelpful.
So today, in our house we are celebrating a birthday. Birthdays are very special in my family and are a great chance to celebrate each individual. Being your own person is such an important lesson I want my children to have. You don’t have to be a leader or follower but you need to be confident in your own skin. Allowing children to appreciate and be grateful for their strengths and weaknesses is somewhat of a challenge. I would love my daughter to recognise that she is magnificent but must also remember that children learn from failure as well as success. What really counts is the attitude we both have to these failures or struggles. It is easy to be assigned unhelpful labels such as ‘uninterested’, ‘easily distracted’ or ‘doesn’t try hard enough’. Worst of all, young people often ‘own’ the label and begin to believe them.
My job is to help my children develop a positive approach to school, everyday life and most importantly themselves. I don’t want them to assign labels to themselves or be put into a rigid box. This is why, for my daughter, me being a good role model is such an important and vital task to help her gain confidence and connect with her true magnificence and self-belief. She does not alway ‘fit the mould‘ which can sometimes bewilder me, but I am quickly learning that she is definitely one of my greatest teachers.
Anyone who knows my daughter will know she is a MASSIVE Taylor Swift fan so I will end with my daughter’s favourite quote. I think it describes my daughter perfectly: