Monday, September 14, 2015
My Daughter Says I Ruined Her
The other day, my daughter called earlier than usual. "My stomach hurts. I was up all night from something I ate. I wish I could call in sick."
"Call in," I said. "You've worked there ten years and have taken few sick days."
"I can't," she said with a sigh. "You ruined me."
When my daughter was ten, she asked to take tap dancing lessons. We gave in and bought the shoes and tights and paid the fees for a month even though it stretched our budget. We wanted her to have the opportunity to enjoy an activity like many of her other friends.
After two lessons, she came to me in tears. She hated it. She couldn't get the steps right. She wanted to quit.
It was the only time I let her quit anything.
We had this rule. If you aren't throwing up or have a high fever, you go to school. My daughter had an excellent attendance record. We also had this other rule. If you start something, you finish it. That meant when she signed up for softball or field hockey or gymnastics or band or Awana, she finished the season whether she liked it or not.
Except for tap dancing.
A part of me knew that I'd encouraged tap dancing because it was something I'd always wanted to try but never did. She was fulfilling my dream not hers.
When we moved to Florida, she had to start a new school in her Junior year. She came to me that morning with tears in her eyes and pain in her belly. I knew if I said she could stay home, the next day would be harder. It broke my heart to drop her off and watch her walk in alone.
I did what I thought was right even though it was hard.
It paid off.
Today my daughter is married to a fine man, raising two fine children and works in a very good position with her company. She moved across the country the day she married and started over again in a strange city. She survived and blossomed.
I couldn't be prouder.
What more could a parent want who ruined their only child?