Embracing my daughter

I have to say that it’s been an absolute joy watching my daughter begin to embrace being her true self.

I ordered her some new clothes and shoes, which were long overdue anyway. She hadn’t let me get her very many new clothes since she started her senior year of high school 2.5 years ago. I frequently offered but now I understand why she always declined.

As a result, she’s been dressing in a way that really doesn’t feel true to herself, and I am so empathetic to what that must feel like. She must have felt like I would if someone forced me to wear men’s clothes. She’s been hiding in faded t-shirts, baggy sweatpants, and hoodies, all in dark colors.

Now she wants to wear more colorful clothes—it actually turns out that her favorite color is pink. She also wants to start wearing shorts, which she hasn’t worn the entire time that we’ve been in Texas (which had to be pretty miserable.)

I also ordered her some skincare and gave her some of my makeup. She really wants me to set aside time tomorrow to put some subtle makeup on her and I painted her nails tonight. I never really got those opportunities with my oldest daughter and in fact, my oldest daughter adamantly refuses to let me get her clothes because she wants to be so independent. Her style is also more androgynous (I would still try to get what she likes, just to be clear.) So I am really enjoying this a lot.

She says it’s progressing a little faster than she expected but she’s glad that I’m so enthusiastic and she says she honestly needs the push. She’s always been the kind of person who needs a little push, even to do things she wants to do.

I also really enjoy that now she’s spending more time out of her room. We had another lengthy talk tonight about lots of things, including her belief that nobody is beyond redemption and that she always hopes people will become motivated to change (though she also recognizes that she can’t make people change if they don’t want to.) I happen to deeply share that view, so that was interesting.

I always tell my kids “good night, I love you.” And for many years, she just said good night back to me. Tonight, after I said “I love you,” she actually said, “you too.”

It’s just such a great feeling that for the first time in many years, we’re having open and honest conversations. I feel like I’m finally really getting to know her as a person and I really like who she is. She’s also asking my advice on how to handle friendship situations.

I’m so encouraged that as mother and daughter, we may actually be becoming friends in a way that we couldn’t before.

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