She wants to be a wife and a mother, and homeschool her kids.
Today is Meredith’s 13th birthday. Right now she is sleeping in, but at her request, Jeff and I are taking her shopping for some new clothes, getting her fitted for her True Love Waits ring, and later after we’ve tired of shopping, out to dinner at the restaurant of her choice.
The whole day is about Meredith, including the chocolate ice cream and cupcakes served up for breakfast.
This morning, when Meredith crawled up into our bed, I told her I couldn’t believe she was 13 already. Just yesterday she was dancing in windows, entertaining us with enthralling performances, modeling pink Panne velvet and chiffon, fearlessly flying through the air, laughing and arguing endlessly with her brother, contorting her body for the sake of a good book, learning to wash dishes, and getting baptized in the pond by her Daddy and Poppa Ken.
There are hundreds of posts and photos of Meredith on this blog, but in the past year she has avoided the camera the majority of the time, which is why I’m deliriously happy when she approves photos of herself for me to post. Emelie did the same exact thing in her early teen years. As I did with Emelie, and out of respect for Meredith’s privacy, I promised her I would never post a photo she didn’t like. These early teen years are difficult. I want to give Meredith all the space she wants and needs.
Because of our agreement, I do not have any photos to show of Meredith playing the guitar or the piano, but she plays the guitar and piano and has an extraordinary ear and voice. Creating music is Meredith’s deepest and most personal form of expression. I always know just how upset she is by tracking how much time she spends cooped-up in her bedroom, writing and picking out chords on her guitar or keyboard.
Meredith’s dream is to grow up and be a wife, a mother, and homeschool her kids. She has made it clear she doesn’t want to be a work at home mom, but rather a stay at home mom. We have had many discussions about what happens after graduation, and how Meredith can prepare for the future she desires. Over time, she came up with a plan to live at home after she completes her high school studies, and attend our local university to get certification as a teacher. Based on family discussions projecting the future of homeschooling, Meredith has concerns that, by the time she has children to homeschool, a college degree will be a requirement for home educators. Jeff and I don’t think she’s far off the mark, and fully support her decision.
I proudly tell everyone who asks that I’m raising my younger daughter to be a stay at home mom, not because it’s what I want for her (though I agree with, and value her decision), but more importantly, because it’s what she wants for herself.
Today marks thirteen years of raising, and getting to know my amazingly complex, emotionally driven, sincerely caring, service-oriented, breathtakingly beautiful daughter. Oh how I love her.