While I was at the beach with "Pippin", "Rosie" stayed at home with Dad. She figured that since the older girls would be in whale training for two days, there wouldn't be anyone to really hang out with. It just isn't the same to window shop and hike with Mom you know. She was excited to be the woman of the house for the weekend. She had plans of doing some baking, watching a few movies, sleeping in, and practicing her drums like crazy.
Last night "Rosie" finally opened up a bit and shared with me about how her weekend went with me being gone. As much as we like to think we are in control, things happen big and small that don't fall into our itinerary the way we would like it to be on a daily basis. Though she did get to accomplish all the items on her list of expectations, one thing happened that threw her for a loop. Dad got hurt.
It wasn't a huge giant sort of hurt that could cause life to teeter on the fence post....but it was a hurt, an unplanned detour, all the same. There has always been at least 3 other older people pulling rank in our home that "Rosie" could default to when a situation needs to be handled. With "Pippin" and I gone and Dad the one needing attention, it was up to "Rosie" to make decisions. Dad didn't need stitches or a cast, but he did need to spend a few hours in the emergency room making sure that all was okay. The final outcome was an impressive pressure bandage and strict orders for 48 hours.
Despite the fact that "Rosie" is not one for the sight of blood, she did all that she could to take care of her papa. She cleaned and bandaged, cooked and appeared whenever needed. She did her best to step up to the plate and be the mature 14 year old that she has always been encouraged to be.
Last night as "Rosie" shared, she hugged me tight and shed a few small precious tears as she relayed the emotions of the weekend. She confessed that though her dad had encouraged her several times during that eventful day to eat, she kept forgetting. Instead her mind was filled with making sure she was doing all she could think of in her 14 year old mind that she had seen her mom do during trying times of the past. That night, after she knew all was well and Dad was sleeping peacefully, she let her emotions and purpose begin to unwind and she felt nauseous. She remembered walking to the restroom...and then she found herself on the floor, waking up with a small bump on her head. She blushed and told me again that she was sure it was only for a few seconds and she was sure it was a combination of the events and not eating.
As a mom, my heart raced while she talked. There was my girl hugging me, with a bump on her head and emotional memories in her mind. And me, I wasn't able to do the parent instinct and protect her.
Sometimes though, it is when we can't protect our children that they grow the most.
I can be right next to her 24 hours a day and not shield her from everything. Shielding is not my job. God is in charge of the events that happen. My job is to listen, encourage, shape, and of course love.
What did "Rosie" learn from the events?
Well, nutrition is not to be ignored for sure. She decided that she can't take care of others if she ignores her own needs.
Most importantly, she learned a vital character trait that cannot be taught from a lecture or a book. She learned that a person can always push themselves a bit more than they ever figure on pushing and handle more than they ever expect themselves to handle.
She experienced the growing and stretching into another level of maturity that she can own forever more.
It is a right of passage.