“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well,” (Psalm 139:13–14).
My four-year-old daughter thinks beef jerky is a delicacy. She kicks the dust off her shoes before swinging a bat. She loves to tinker at the basement tool table, working on “inventions.” This precocious preschooler begs to drive the car, mow the lawn, sweep the garage, and eat pretzels dipped in cream cheese. How many of these things did she learn from me? Not a one.
From the mirror view, it’s clear my genes have prevailed. Clara’s blues eyes, round face and red hair have earned her the nickname “mini-Mom.” But the tug-of-war for her personality is leaning heavily toward Dad.
I’m not sure when she made the shift from Momma’s little baby to Daddy’s girl. Maybe it was the first time she watched an episode of Monster Bucks and didn’t flinch when my husband prepped her for the impact shot.
Sure, she recites Spanish with Dora and checks her dolly’s heartbeat with a Playskool doctor’s kit and enjoys a host of other “girlie” activities. But something in the way she’s wired says my hopes for female bonding over shopping and manicures during my husband’s retreats to the hunting shack may be thwarted by Clara’s plans to join her dad in the tree stand.
My challenge as a mom is to nurture my daughter according to how God has made her, not who I expect her to be. Yes, I will instill discipline and Christian values in my children. But there’s a lot of room for personality within the boundaries of righteousness.
The truth is, I could take a lesson from my daughter. She admires her daddy and wants to be just like him. Am I seeking to reflect my own heavenly Father in character and actions? If I’m not, I should be.
Through the window I see Clara swinging in the back yard, begging her dad to push her higher and higher until her head touches the tree branches hanging near the tip of the play set. “Underduck, Daddy!” she shrieks.
My gut reaction is to yell, “Be careful!” But she’s in good hands—her dad’s and God’s, who in his infinite wisdom and sense of humor gave my daughter a daring streak. It may not have been my preference, but I’m trusting the Lord to work it all out for good.