I Want to Leave a Legacy

Bean, Breaking Hearts

I look at my daughter and my heart breaks.

It shatters, because it simply cannot contain something larger than the words love, adore, cherish, treasure.

I stare at her and wonder where I am in all of that beauty.

I hear her giggle, delicate and ladylike, and hope it is a hint to her disposition. I watch her discover, tasting and feeling things unfamiliar, and hope it is insatiable. I recognize her sense of humor while she razzes or claps or waves over and over, as long as she has a captive audience, and hope it is unchanging. I marvel at her growing confidence, and hope it is unstoppable.

I know what I want for her.

I want to take the very best parts of me and give them to her. I want her to be witty, intelligent, honest, and affectionate.

I want to take my ugliest pieces, trade them for something shinier, polish them to perfection, and plant them in her. I want her to be meeker, wiser, sensitive, and hard-working.

I want her to be better, to be brighter. I want her to be lovely. I want to take what precious little I know I’m doing right, and teach her to do it right, too. I want to take the overwhelming amount of things I think I’ve got a grip on, and help her figure out how to do it more gracefully. I want to take the stuff I’ve gotten hopelessly wrong, sweep it out from under the rug, and scare her straight with all of my scars.

I want to teach her how to hide her heart in God. I want to teach her to speak with significance. I want to teach her poise and elegance and dignity. I want to teach her to be unapologetic and uncompromising in character. But I must learn these things first.

I want to teach her whose opinion really matters. I want to teach her that laughter heals. I want to teach her patience and gentleness and tact. I want to teach her to be flexible and forgiving in circumstances. Because I learned these the heart-breaking way.

I want her to know, to know, that she is capable and destined to be infinitely more magical.

I want her to know that she already is.

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9 Comments

Filed under Parenting

9 responses to “I Want to Leave a Legacy

  1. Wow. This is wrenching. Makes my sentimental piece seem like something from Mad magazine.

    This line jumped out at me, both in the writing and the honesty: “I want to take my ugliest pieces, trade them for something shinier, polish them to perfection, and plant them in her.”

    And what a great pic of the Bean.

  2. I echo Chase: Wow. This is a prose poem, beautifully orchestrated. I love love love the ending “I want her to know, to know, that she is capable and destined to be infinitely more magical…I want her to know that she already is.”

    Indeed.

  3. This is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. I know those feelings (inserting my better traits and worse traits in place of yours); I have wished this exact wish.

    But you put it into words far more beautiful than I.

    What a gift. A legacy.

  4. Thank you, Leanne & Julie! That means a lot coming from word masters (mistresses?) as yourselves.

  5. Omg. I’m crying. What a beautiful post! She is so lucky to have something like this to treasure when she gets older. Thanks for linking up to The Little Hen House!

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