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.

She did.

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?


Nikki (Sarah) said...

This touches me as a mom of two amazing daughters who is also incredibly proud to be their mom and watch them grow. You and your husband did an amazing job and I too would have told her to take the day off. :)

Ceil said...

Hi Terri! Isn't it wonderful that your child can now tell you how much you influenced her life? You said it all when you said "It paid off". And your daughter is a survivor and blossom-er too... You should have really 'ruined' more people my friend. Sounds like a success to me!


Saleslady371 said...

You ruined her but good! I can imagine how proud you are of the way she turned out under your powerful leadership! She sounds like a winner!


She didn't take the day off because you raised her to be responsible. Not sure as parents we all did that. Parenting is a tough job. It's one in which most of us are not ready. I learned and grew up as my kiddies did. They turned out great but not sure it's all to their parents parenting.
There should be parenting classes for all expectant parents! Thanks for sharing this. Brought back my own memories. Hugs.

Lynda R Young said...

Ha, the best kind of ruining :)

Lynn said...

What a blessing it is to see our children thrive and blossom. And be blamed for their success because we "ruined" them!

Lin Floyd said...

thanks for mom always wanted piano lessons as a child so I got them and hated them. finally convinced her to let me stop after many tears and a difficult recital. I started dance lessons instead and thrived-got my masters degree in college and taught for years. Life is full of lots of decisions and it's a balance to know what to!

Simple and serene living Laura Walker said...

So wonderful to see them live their "life lessons" when they become adults. xo Laura

Karen Lange said...

I think we all "ruined" our kids in some way. lol It's nice to see when your lessons and legacy are carried on.

Deb Shucka said...

What a sweet post! I love how insightful you were about tapdancing being your dream and not your daughters. What a wise and loving mom you are.