It was”Crazy Hat Day” at school. “Wear the craziest, biggest and funniest hat you have!” the flyer proclaimed.
The night before, she was so excited about how she’d turned a summery white church hat into her own goofy creation. I admired her active imagination, along with the hat.
As she climbed out of the car the next morning, I thought I heard a hint of doubt in her voice as she wondered aloud how many other kids would wear crazy hats. I knew exactly how she felt – except that she’s much braver than I am. I would have been one of the “safe” students, sporting a traditional baseball cap or a tame straw hat.
As I drove away in the car, my heart walked with her – down the breezeway, up the stairs, through the hallway. “Like her hat,” I silently pleaded with her classmates. “Admire her handiwork,” I mentally begged the teacher. “Don’t let her be crushed,” I prayed as I sat at the stoplight, wondering how her entrance to the classroom had gone.
Oh, how I long to protect her from ever being embarrassed or feeling out of place! I yearn to keep her self-confidence blooming and her individuality in tact. I admire her for stepping out boldly, displaying a hint of vulnerability, and refusing to take the safe, predictable route.
But I guess it’s part of life, another scene in the movie of growing up – taking risks and not knowing how you will be judged by your peers.
I just know that when I pick her up from school this afternoon, I hope she’s still wearing her hat.
Thank you for this! I often think that I am the only one who feels like this 🙂 (I know I'm not, but still.) I hope she had a great time and that everyone loved her hat!!
When I pulled into "car line" yesterday afternoon to pick up my daughters, I was scanning the walkway to see if I could spot her hat – and I did! She still had it on (although bits and pieces had been discarded throughout the day as they became uncomfortable or fell off!) and thought the day had been a success. So, I guess it's on to the next parenting challenge! 🙂
I'm here from Erin's site and chuckled that your prayers for your daughter to not be crushed sound like what I would be doing. Way to go!
Thanks for stopping by! I'm so thankful that those silent pleas and prayers were answered!
you took my heart to where it has been many times. to protect is so natural for us…but to let them go to experience life and then learn how to handle the hard times with healthy responses…that is so hard.
thinking our Father feels that way?
Yes, I think He does. His watchful eye is on us, ever caring, but knowing that for us to grow, we must learn to handle the trials as well as the blessings.
Thanks for taking my story into another realm!
I hope she's still wearing it too. Hooray for our bold young daughters and knowing when to let them take the risks instead of sheltering them.
On the surface, it seems so wonderful to be able to protect them from everything. I never want my children to be hurt. But then, when I look to see how all the things that went wrong in my life made me stronger and closer to Him, I can kind of (kind of!) sigh in relief. My prayer focus then changes to entertain that thought that they might get hurt and when they do, that it will drive them straight to the heart of Jesus.
Thanks for your encouraging words! As my girls get older, I know they will begin taking other risks, challenging my heart even more. Thank goodness growing up is a process, not an instantaneous act!
I'm with Tiffini and Jen…Motherhood teaches us SO much about our relationship with our heavenly Father. Brava for being courageous…and praying her on her way…and being prepared with the right Godly answers to boost her confidence and build her up! I'm so glad it went well!!
Your comment perfectly relates this post with the one yesterday on praying for our children! While I can't always be there to protect them from hurt or pain, God can – and He can comfort much more perfectly than I.
Thank you; I'm grateful it went well, too! I also appreciate other moms who encourage me and remind me that this is all part of the process of rearing our children and entrusting them to God's care.
I find it so hard to let my children fight their own battles and make their own mistakes. I want to hide them under my wing like a mother hen and never let them out! But mother hens are a good example for us – while they might cluck over their chicks, they do let them go out and learn eventually, until those chicks can survive all on their own. Thank you for sharing your heart on your blog so candidly – it helps me know that what I feel is not unusual or weird or too over-protective!
I like the analogy of the mother hen and her chicks! I know I feel like her some days – in more ways than one! 😉
It's Grace says
Tracey, this touched my heart in such a deep way. Like you, I would have chosen the safe hat. I always choose the safe hats in life. But my daughter is braver than me in that regard.
We both had protecting our children's hearts on our mama's hearts today. I hope she was wearing the hat when you picked her up.
Thank you so much for taking part in Mama's Heart again this week, I loved hearing what was on your heart. I'm sorry I didn't visit sooner today; I had a sick little boy at home who needed his Mama.
I think one of the hardest parts of being a mother is that you can't always be there to protect or support them…we have to teach them to do that for themselves and sometimes it can hurt.
So glad to read in the comments that her day turned out fine 🙂