Raising Girls

My three girls are each unique and amazing in their own way.  each possess pieces of me and pieces of their dad but manage to be their own person that is not like either of us.  This is one of those things that I find absolutely intriguing and incredible.  The fact that a two people can come together in love and create 3 uniquely different human beings with the similar traits has always fascinated me, but watching my girls grow in20141114_190321to the independent young women they have become has created in me such awe. Wow, we done good!

My oldest is in college.  She graduated high school nearly two years ago and began her college career as a music education major.  After her first year, she determined that although she has a passion for music, educating the youth in music wasn’t necessarily for her.  She was concerned that she wouldn’t have a job when she was done despite going to a school renowned for it’s music ed program.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do and was feeling depressed as a result.  She tried to hide her depression from me.

She returned for her sophomore year as a communications major.  Unfortunately, her heart wasn’t in it and her depression was getting worse.  Watching your child go through that when you are suffering from your own stress and depression makes you feel absolutely helpless.  My baby was away from home and falling hard.  She started seeing the counselor on campus and I went over there to meet with him as well.  It was decided that she needed to come home for a while.  We needed to get her some more help so she could figure out what she truly wanted to do.

As a baby and a small girl, she was my easy child.  She was easy in every way.  She was helpful, easy-going, laid back, and so very sweet.  I often said she would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.  Unfortunately, her father and I divorced when she was nine.  Emma’s personality changed somewhat over the next several years.  Some of this I’m sure was due to having more responsibility to taking care of her younger sisters as well as moving from her home, her city, her friends, her dad.

She’s doing much better now.  She’s decided on nursing, following in her mom and both of her grandma’s footsteps.  I know she will be a great nurse.  She is very caring and always very concerned for others. She is easy to talk to and has an joy for caring for others in their time of need.  I saw this firsthand when she helped me care for my mother before she passed away.

My second daughter is extremely bright and determined.  She has always has known what she wants and isn’t afraid to do the hard work to get it. She was the jealous sister when we brought home her little sister, but not so when we brought home her baby brother.  Clare has always been very focused on her homework and getting work done.   She is talented in many things but feels “subpar”.   Her friends are all overachievers like her and she has a sense that she is never good enough, I suppose.  She is beautiful.  She just had a lead in her senior high school musical and will start the pre-med program at university in the fall.  She amazes me every day with her talents.  Then again, so does her older sister.  All my girls can sing well.  The only thing Clare can’t do well is draw like her little sister, Katie.

Clare will make the best physician. Her dream is to become a pediatrician.  That’s been her dream since she was a little girl.  With her determination, she will do it.  I know that she may change her mind eventually as to which specialty, but I know she be a doctor and I’m sure she will do something with children.

She has always loved children.  She is a much sough after babysitter.  She’s managed to get herself a sitter job for the summer and is looking forward to it very much.  She has a great deal of patience with small children, even more than parents do sometimes, including this mom! She will even speak French to the tiny ones.  She’s in the National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society.  She just excels!

My third daughter is hilarious.  She is my sweet, funny, artistic daughter.  She is an amazing artist.  I have heard people say that her art is beyond her years.  It’s truly incredible.  If she would give me any, I’d be glad to post it here. Alas, she has not.  She shares it on her instagram, just not with her mom.  Sigh. She has the best and weirdest sense of humor to those who know her best.  At school, they see her as the quiet little mouse, but at home, she is loud, very musically talented and always perfecting her art.

Katie was a fairly easy baby, but if she wanted something, you knew about it.  That was the way Clare was too.  Clare wouldn’t even give up then.  Katie, on the other hand, would curl her legs around each other in a sort of knot, we called it “the ball of fury”.  She would even twist her little chunky legs through and around the slats on her crib, locking them together on the outside.  It always frightened me trying to untwist them and get them back through the slats of the crib.  I was so afraid that her little legs would break and I would be carted off by DCFS.

Katie plays the ukulele which she just acquired on Christmas Eve.  Believe it or not, she is really very good.  She has a very good ear for music and refuses to take any more music lessons.  She also plays piano and knocks sparks out of those keys.  It usually takes her a day or two to learn a new song, but then we are listening to it until she gets tired of playing it.  Her artwork, as I’ve said is unbelievably good.  Her freshman art teacher said she belongs in college level courses.  This is the first actual art class that she’s ever taken so perhaps that gives you an idea.

She does suffer from anxiety and panic disorder.  This has nearly crippled her at times.  When my mom suffered a severe stroke and was hospitalized for 5 weeks before passing away, Katie suffered a migraine caused by the anxiety for most of that time and the time just after that.  It was nearly paralyzing to her.  My heart was broken.  I had her in counseling because hospitalizing her for the migraine really didn’t do much for her.  She is now with a counselor who has really helped her so much.  I owe Katie’s health and wellness to that wonderful counselor.  My baby girl has her life back, although 3.5 months later, she is still playing catch up at school.  As long as she gets through this year, she will be fine.

All three girls are similar but so very different.  From the way they were as babies, to the way they are as young women.  I wouldn’t change the people they are becoming and just hope that my best was good enough.  Someday they will understand why I did the things I did and the way I did them.  Now, I just need them to know how much I love them. They will always be my babies.

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