As I watched my daughter celebrate another birthday this week, I spent a lot of time trying to remember what I was like at 11 years old. It seems a little easier to remember what I wasn't.
I wasn't 'tech savvy'.....I'd never even heard that term! I wasn't battling with my mom over shorts that were too short and shirts that were off the shoulder....based on the pictures I've found, I was still wearing baseball-jersey-type rainbow shirts! I wore thick dorky glasses and a headgear at night. I didn't beg for a phone, iPod touch, or new e-books. I was fascinated by our new VCR and the sound of our dot matrix printer.
That's what was on the outside of me, but if I dig deep, I can excavate the inside of the 11-year-old me. I was emotional. I felt things deeply and I loved to write. I could cry hard and laugh hard and I was in love with David Lee Roth and remember kissing the TV (yes, it was a giant console TV!) when JUMP was on Friday Night Videos.
Those memories make me smile and provide so much comfort as I worry about what I perceive as an obsession in our house with boy band, One Direction! I roll my eyes each time she squeals when their songs come on the radio, but I must have done the same thing, and in retrospect, One Direction looks pretty clean cut compared to the rockers of Van Halen!
As I reach back to reconnect with the 11-year-old me, I'm left wondering if I even would have been friends with my daughter. My first thought was, no way, I was way too nerdy and unattractive compared to the beauty that I find my daughter to be; too awkward and unsure of myself to befriend my kiddo. Then comes the best part of the whole trip down memory lane....the lanes start to merge.
As a mom, I view my daughter as beautiful and confident. Tech savvy and brilliant, a gifted writer and great athlete, but she doesn't see those things in herself. She views herself much the same as I view my 11-year-old self. Shaky and nervous, self-conscious and unsure, scared and excited all at the same time. Trying to sort out complicated feelings and questions about boys, her body and friendships.
The lightening moment hits me when I realize how perfectly my daughter and I have been matched. I heard early on in my parenting walk that we are each perfectly matched with our kids by God for all that they need from us and all that we need from them. I have no doubt that our lanes have merged for His glory.
Have you reflected on your 11-year-old self lately? Would that kiddo be proud of who you have become? Would she or he roll their eyes at you or would they come to you as a confidante who they believed cared about them? Who is God merging your past and present with today? Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.