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  • Writer's pictureNora Sorensen

Master Anna-My Daughter

Last week we celebrated our daughter's 13th birthday. Anna is the #favorite Master in my #life. Not just because she taught me the most #important #lessons without realizing that she is doing it, but also because she loves me no matter how many times I fail. She and I are bound forever in many ways, and yet with each minute of her life, she is moving towards full independence, which is what we want as #parents. We desire her to become a strong, independent woman, ready to face her challenges when she steps into adulthood. Being #present and #letting #go are the forces that regularly play out in our #family #life. In the beginning, I thought they are opposites and impossible to achieve; however, now I start to understand that they are like Yin and Yang.  I must admit letting go is the hardest bit for me. Each stage of her growing up came with exciting challenges. Getting her used to pasta with tomato sauce (it's her favorite now). We taught her how to fall asleep on her own after much resistance. Helping her find her inner voice and not to be a people pleaser is an ongoing process, and it involves us, the parents, to change our ways too. Making her understand that cleaning is something we all do for the rest of our lives unless we are rich enough not to do it is getting to me. She is cleaning upstairs right now, halleluja. I enjoy the myriad of moments when we #laugh, are #silly, talk about #sex, #rebel against stupid #rules, pour our souls out to each other, and even #argue. I suppose it's because we only have one child, and it took us two years of treatments to get pregnant, so we know we have only one chance at parenthood. Time is flying. We spoil her terribly. To the point where Anna told me a few weeks ago that I should start saying NO to her more often and I should read a book about teenagers as that might help me understand her more.  So I did. There are many books you can read about teenagers, but Untangled, by Lisa Damour is the best so far in guiding #teenage #girls through the seven transitions into adulthood. I highly recommend it. It takes you through all the stages:

  • parting with childhood

  • joining a new tribe

  • harnessing emotions

  • contending with adult authority

  • planning for the future

  • entering the romantic world

  • caring for herself

I learned how not to talk while I am driving her and her friends. That was a hard one for me. I am getting better at not giving my opinion unless it is requested. I am good at holding space for any range of emotions. And I accept that we are all work in progress.  Nothing prepares you for the joyride that parenting is, but you can wear protective gear (books, friends), talk to other parents, listen to your children, be willing to learn on the go and to have plenty of wine at hand when things get tough. Children are mirrors to our souls. Anna made me a better #human, and for that, I am eternally #grateful to her.

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