Those are probably the two best words I could use to describe Greta. It's hard to describe her personality to people that don't know her well. It's a really interesting combination if you ask me. A balance that I think I have strived to encourage but really had no idea where to start in that encouragement.
Having a daughter has been a totally different ballgame for me. I know very well who I am, my flaws, my strengths, and I'm confident in each part of these areas. But raising a daughter who will one day be a woman and a mother, you want everything for her.
It's difficult. For me, I want to help guide and encourage her to develop qualities that are important and valuable. At the same time I want her to be confident in exactly who she is. It's a tough balance. A few years ago I recall a conversation with another mom, I think it was a client and maybe I was giving her a facial, and we were discussing our daughters. We both so strongly wish to watch our girls develop self confidence and self worth, yet at the same time we want to raise really kind, sweet women.
So I knew exactly what I was striving for when raising Greta, but geez louise, where do you start?! Wait a sec, did you think I was going to share the magic solution or perfect formula? Ha! I'm sorry if I was misleading, this is not a problem/solution kind of post. Just some thoughts that have been swirling around in my head the last few weeks.
I actually don't believe there is a simple formula, and to be honest, how would I even go about encouraging the development of some of these qualities when maybe I wasn't even aware what they looked like myself. But I look at my 7 year old and I see her embody this effortless balance at the moment. It might be fleeting. I am bracing for a phase of self doubt and self deprecation, one where she compares herself to others and is fraught with insecurities. But for the moment, she figured it out. Maybe it wasn't a problem that needed figuring out. Maybe all our children are born this way, and it's actually the outside influences of parents, media, and friends that change them into these nervous, insecure little people.
For now I am enjoying the kind, confident seven year old. I hope that maybe just maybe she sees her mama and feels secure that it's ok to be who you are. I think our kids learn by example, which means someone must lead by example. For my daughter, that example is going to be me. She's going to look to me for a few more years as a role model and someone to imitate. She may imitate my flaws and my strengths. But I think the most important thing she could see when she looks at me is security. Feeling secure with what I am, what I look like, what I think, and what I do.
This is a little reminder to myself to be fierce and feminine. Not to imagine qualities and think of characteristics I'd like my daughter to develop. But be those qualities, and be those characteristics. Because she's always watching...