Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, as we drove home from dance, Abbie and I had a long talk about commitments and the decisions she is making now, that will affect the rest of her life.

Dance has been a spot of contention among us.  I want her to dance, something I always dreamed about doing, but either never felt coordinated enough to pursue, or confident enough to attempt.  Abbie on the other hand, talks as though she wants to dance, and enjoys her lessons.  Practicing is something entirely different.  She abhors the structured time and I wonder if the fight is worth it.

She told me she was committed to dancing in a competition this summer.  I am a bit concerned, because to be ready, practicing will play an enormous role in the achievement of this commitment.  Will she make choices to attain her goal?  At this point, I hope and pray that she does.  Not just for my sake of seeing her in kilt and ghillies, dancing a lovely fling, but because at the same time she talked about the other commitments she has made in her life.

Abbie knows my expectations of her.  She knows good behavior from bad, and knows her limits.   I can't take all the credit.  She is an extraordinary child and has a good head on her shoulders.  Many family members and friends have made choices and she sees the consequences.  That right there is a teacher of some import.

From the time she was small, I would joke with her father, "Abbie won't date until she is 30!"  Partly for my own sanity, as well as to tease her.  She has taken up the mantra and committed not to date until she is 16, nor to have a boyfriend until then.  She spoke of these things lightly and I wasn't sure how they had sunk in, until a conversation we had, just last week.

There is a boy.  In her class at school, who told her she was looking pretty cute.  Oh my.  I'm not ready for this.  She asked me what she could tell him if he asked her to be his girlfriend.  All I had to say, "What are your commitments, Ab?"  She recited them, and asked me how to tell him nicely, they could just be friends.  I won't pretend that the conversation will not get harder as the years go on, but for now, I'm glad she knows what being committed to something means.

Her list is long.  I don't mind.  Every commitment is a good one, and one that will enable her to have a life that both she and I pray for.  She will not be burdened by undue hardships such as substance abuse, pre-marital sex and those consequences, or irrevocable body piercings or other bodily markings.  She will grow up and be mature and ready for the opportunities that come her way, unencumbered with the baggage these choices could bestow upon her.

I'm sure there will be times when these commitments will be tested and tried.  Boundaries will be pushed, but the choices have already been made.  There will never be the need to make them again if she sticks with what she had already decided.

1 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

Tonee said...

I think that's awesome Ter! I know you can't take all the credit, but you are an incredible mother for guiding her in the right direction and helping her make good goals, like no pre-martital sex, etc. It flashes me forward to the kind of coversations I will be having with my daughter in just a few (what will seem like) short years!

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