She had a sweet grin on her face as she took my hand and said,"Our hands are best friends." It was the most genuine, spontaneous response and one that really tugged at my heart strings.
|Skye's joyful expression mirrors my own.|
It reminded me of a great lyric in one of my favorite songs, Amy Grant's She Colors My Day released in 2009. The phrase "In her skin I end and begin." articulates precisely how I feel about Skye. I am still incredulous that I have a little girl whom so many people insist looks very much like me. We share the same slope of our nose, the shape of our eyes and the curve of our smile. I've started to respond to those observations by saying she's "the new and improved version" of me.
For both Hunter and Skye, my aspiration for them is to have a new and improved opportunity to exceed the accomplishments their mother and I have realized in our adulthood. And I know that is a common aspiration most parents have for their children. It seems that the challenges rising up to meet our children's adult worlds are greater with each generation. The fear of what those challenges may throw at our children must be tempered with the faith that they will have the fortitude to overcome them.
God has blessed Donna and me with the most thoughtful, intelligent children. Each of them demonstrate their charm, their wit, and their unique approach to what life throws at them every day. Watching their resilience and their ability to navigate through challenges is a joy that reinforces our confidence that they will successfully navigate through childhood into a happy adulthood. Hunter shared recently that a friend asked him how he could have two moms as parents. Her tone implied that she knew the science behind how a child is conceived and wanted to know whether he knew who his father was. His quick response back to her was, "End of conversation." He didn't miss a beat and showed how quickly he could establish firm boundaries with friends. He also demonstrated how confident he is and comfortable with his family. I was so proud of how he handled that situation.
This example is one reminder of how often I forget to appreciate my children's own independence and person hood and get caught up in the desire to protect them from anything uncomfortable or bad. Sometimes, I'm able to step out of that protective mode to let them experience life as it comes so they can learn from the lessons that broken hearts, hurt feelings and perceived injustices teach.
After all, it's those experiences that teach the most important lessons.
So, when other situations arise in their lives and we're not within earshot, I know they will be able to pick themselves up and dust themselves off and come home to share their pain with us. And as they relate their stories, they will know that we will hold their hands and provide a safe place for them to heal and learn from their experiences.
Thankfully, Skye already realizes that our hands are best friends, and best friends last forever.