If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard me say it 100 times; I would be the most conceited mother on the planet if my son had not been born.
My 13 year old daughter is super-smart and always has been. This is not to say her 10 year old brother isn’t smart, because he is, but she is a different kind of smart. He is so much like me and she is everything that I never was.
I remember the report cards saying that I didn’t apply myself, wasn’t living up to my potential, couldn’t stay on task; the thing I don’t remember is anyone telling me that was unacceptable. There was no one standing over my shoulder making sure I got my homework done or helping me study for tests. There was no one pushing me.
This is why my daughter is different. She doesn’t have anyone doing those things for her either, because she does them for herself. Sure, I am here if she needs my help (unless it’s algebra, because COME ON, that stuff is hard), but for the most part she does everything on her own.
Unlike what I have to do with my son, I don’t ever need to ask her if she’s finished her homework, studied for extra credit, or push her to do more reading. She is responsible, studious, and bright. She’s not always the best listener or especially kind to her little brother, but when it comes to school she works really hard. School, eye-rolling and deep sighs she has down pat. Also, she’s really good at not unloading the dishwasher.
But, that whole school thing? It’s the reason why I’m putting pressure on her to be something great.
I don’t want her to find my expectations anxiety-inducing and I don’t want her to burn out, but I want her to do her best. I want both of my kids to work at the highest level they can, because I didn’t. And, if there’s anything I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that I have to live vicariously through my children.
Deep inside, I feel that I’m doing my best by telling my daughter she has it in her to take her life in any direction she sees fit. And, it’s about time I started living up to my potential.