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My Amazing Daughter: What She Has Taught Me About Life and Love
Living in the Moment
When I find time for Facebook, I really only review what is going on in the lives of those I love. Each time I am pleasantly reminded of the uniqueness of my beautiful daughter, a person who has devoted her life to the blending of a family of 7. The sheer magnitude of organizing life, food, and travel astounds me.
She inspires me with her ability to accept people where they are. Always seeking to understand rather than judge, she is a unique person who finds a way to celebrate and honor those she cares about. Her expectation is that her children become who they were made to be. No superimposing her unfulfilled dreams as burdens in their minds or on their backs. Simple love and encouragement, without motive or agenda. Something that is rare in today's world for sure!
Finishing Well!Click thumbnail to view full-size
She was my closest companion while growing up together (as I had so much to learn). We did pretty much everything together on a shoestring. I had her at age 21, with no little or no real idea what child-rearing entailed. I set out on this journey called parenting, never dreaming of the complexities it held, but being hopeful that I could accomplish it somehow.
My daughter made it fairly simple. She was adaptable, fun, could entertain herself with voices of all sorts and usually a minimum of toys, because money didn't abound in those days. We did unique things and I managed to scrape together money for things like a small dollhouse and some other small treasurable memories.
We took trips often, measuring out what was left after rent, food and car payments. Our selections were based on whatever we could afford. When we ran out of funds, we went home, I didn't use credit cards then, not because I didn't think about it, but because they thought I didn't have the experience. That I now realize was providential. I lived within my means until a greedy Mary Kay director convinced me to go overboard. Then I had to work two jobs to get above water. It took two years, but we persevered, thankfully, sharing a room in our apartment. It wasn't bad for me, but I am sure she was ready when we finally moved into a house.
We saw Sequoia trees, many beaches, mountains, and went every place that had free admission. We went to Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland, carnivals, and playgrounds. When we had nothing, we still had fun at home, taking our few dollars to the thrift store to find a bargain or two.
My fondest memories are those of her painting her own-size picnic table at age 3, and really managing to get some of the red stain on the table. She loved to wear big shoes, and boots if she could find them and when she did, you literally had to lift her out of them. She knew how to play, and it makes her a wonderful mother, because she lets her children do the same.
She juggles a demanding job, a husband, 5 children a good portion of the time by choice. She excels in holiday decorating and food celebrations, and in between engages in various hobbies, like photography and every sort of crafting.
She patiently teaches the children what she knows, fostering their creativity and growth, and each one of them is creative in a different niche. I often wondered how that happened, when it came to anything other than knitting or needlepoint, I was all thumbs in that department.
Oh, I also might add that she bakes and cooks amazing things, like cupcakes and chocolate chip pancakes (the only pancakes I will ever eat) and whatever her creative mind designs. She thinks of things to do on rainy days and snow days, and sunny days and slow days.
She shops, she gifts, she entertains, and she has made for herself and her family a beautiful home where everyone has space and privacy when they need it. Most people would be overwhelmed, but she can't seem to get enough of the family life she didn't get the opportunity to share with siblings.
She decorates spaces so that people who visit feel warm and welcome. She sacrifices her own comfort and privacy for the togetherness it brings. She bravely faces the realities of life and the individual struggles of the children, even medical issues that require extra care and costs.
She laughs often, and has an amazing wittiness that wins people over even when they are mad. She is at times a master of sarcasm, and most who don't know her well, often miss distinguishing the messages she subtlely delivers.
She chooses to be victorious over difficulties, to feel her grief, and to be real. She uses her voice to combat bullying and injustice, and she has a heart for people who are in crisis, and is a great listener. She gives feedback that wakes you up, and gets you going forward. She faces obstacles and turns them into opportunities and encourages others to do the same.
If you are part of her family or close circle of friends, she is loyal beyond measure. She is optimistic, and kind, and tolerant, and graceful, like a swan. I am so grateful that I got to share her life, and yet have failed at times to acknowledge these things she has become.
If you get to know her, it your privilege, for your heart is enhanced by the love she offers and the way she has of interacting on different levels that appears to be almost effortless for her.
She doesn't need to find many friends, because friends are given to her abundantly by default. She just draws them to her by generosity of spirit and the richness of her life and connection.
I celebrate you Nikki! Now the whole world knows, I am in awe of who you have become!