Me and My Daughter, My Daughter and Me

 

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It’s quiet this morning. I see the ocean through the small window from this cozy rocking chair. I breath in, sip my coffee, and exhale, remembering the not-so-quiet giggles and splashes and rigid chill of that same ocean water from yesterday afternoon.

Her tiny, tiny toes cringe every time I lower her enough to touch the wet sand.

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She bends down and decides she wants to feel that muddy sand in her curious, tiny fingertips. She looks up at me, both bewildered and excited at such a thing.

Her relentless “happy” feet and legs are especially “happy” with every wave that approaches and crashes over our ankles – sometimes even our knees, if the waves are big enough.

Me and my daughter. My daughter and me.

For a split second, I lose all sight of the age separation that at times makes me feel more like a babysitter to this one year old than her mother.

For a split second, I catch a heavenly glimpse from God’s lens of perfect reality, of truth.

For a split second, there is no concept of my task-oriented closed-mindedness that often makes the day-to-day seem monotonous or exhausting or frustrating or full of failure, as a mom of an almost toddler.

You see {I write this through wet, glass eyes}, I am simply with my daughter.

Me and my daughter. My daughter and me.

I am in her world, she is in mine. We are together; sharing an experience together; enjoying each other – neither of us wanting it to be over.

No, I am no babysitter today.

I am a mother.

This is life – real, true, life-giving life.

{Which, although sounds redundant, is immensely refreshing. Because if we are honest with ourselves, life is not always life-giving.}

The reality that a de-sanding bath is imminent – for us both – or that her dinner/bedtime routine is rapidly approaching, or that we have no towel to wrap up, dry off, and warm up in is not relevant at all.

To either of us.

We are just two girls having fun.

{We are drenched – and this water is COLD; not to mention the fact that I had no intention of needing a towel at all. I was maybe prepared to dip my toes in the water, but the thought of any more than that stressed me way out. What a mess. That kind of cleanup is too much for my infamously obsessive to-do list. I’m way too good of a planner-aheader for that…

But this is unplanned. It goes against every grain of a to-do list.

This, is beautiful.

Once again in life, unplanned events act as great teachers. And this event, in particular, is a very gracious teacher. This is another life-giving life experience – when we are taught graciously, rather than having to learn the hard way. These are the rare lessons. The fun, undeserved, pleasantly unexpected rare lessons where the Lord lavishes grace for no reason other than love.}

And yet, in the midst of all of this, I am simultaneously overwhelmed with the most intense, protective rush I have experienced in my 13 months and 1 day of being a mama. My subconscious, Mama Bear death grip on her in my arms is the only barrier between me walking her safely back to the house and her getting swept out into the daunting power of that massive – beautiful and majestic, but daunting and powerful, nonetheless – body of water.

Holy Cow. I’m trying to take it all in. It seems impossible. I don’t want this to end, this feeling.

This joy.

This bliss.

This lack of comprehension of all the brokenness that is life, at times, on this side of Heaven.

And it isn’t a feeling of fear, this feeling I feel. More of beautiful, privileged responsibility.

But she has not one speck of comprehension of any of that.

All she can see is the next wave approaching and “I better start kicking now so Mommy swings me in the water again!”

For the hundredth time. And let me tell you, I could do it a thousand more.

And to think that this perspective, this protective love, this enthralling joy, this passion for another, for a child, is God’s constant – not split-second-come-and-go – view of us, makes me speechless.

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Alex Hanson

Wife to Nate, mommy to Lucy.

 

5 thoughts on “Me and My Daughter, My Daughter and Me

  1. Just beautiful is all I can say. You are a wonderful Mommy. I remember taking you to Monterey, and how scared you were when the first wave went over the top of you shoe’s. Such wonderful memories I have, and you are making them also.

    Love,
    Nonni

  2. Alex, this is such a touching piece to read. You are such a delight and a warm, loving person. The way you describe this experience with Lucy is so sweet! We all love you so much!

    Love, Aunt Athena

  3. Made my heart happy reading this lovey piece and remember back at some of the wonderful times being a Mom with small children! I’ve said this before, you put words together in such a beautiful way for other to read and enjoy! Hugs to you Alex!!!

  4. I was smiling through this post, enjoying that day at the beach with you two. But then that last sentence – wow – brought home this beautiful picture. How greatly we are loved!

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