Wednesday, April 29, 2009


She rolls her eyes at yet another story of Africa. She cringes when she catches a hint of a social justice rant erupting from your lips. She doesn’t want to hear you talk about hunger or human trafficking or unfair trade rules. She gets embarrassed when you tell the sales clerk you don’t want a plastic bag and would rather carry your items out of the store in your hand. She’d rather go shopping than just about any other activity in the world, and she doesn’t want to know about the stuff that’s produced by child labourers in Bangladesh, or about the mountains of waste created by overconsumption. She gets annoyed when you insist she can walk to the mall instead of burning extra gas to run the car.

But then one day, she comes home and tells you “I’m doing a project for school about the political situation in Zimbabwe – about how Mugabe stole the election.” And then she adds, incredulously, “most of my friends don’t even know where Zimbabwe is!”

And then, another day, “Mom – do you want to watch this with me? Tyra Banks is talking about sex trafficking. Can you believe what’s happening to those little girls?”

And then there’s the day when you’re at the mall with her, and she tucks her new shorts into her purse and shakes her head no when the cashier offers her a bag.

And your heart does a little leap of joy, because despite her best efforts to ignore you and be as different from you as she can, some of it has gotten through.


Pamela said...

Oh...I remember those cringes from my girls when they were at that stage.

Train a child in the way he should
go, and when he is old he will not turn from it
Love that Proverb.

Judy said...

Beautiful post.

Beautiful daughter.

Anvilcloud said...

Ah, thirteen. I think I'll leave the country when Nikki Dee hits that age.

Karmyn R said...

I figure I only have about 4 years left before I reach that stage.

Even though she rolls her eyes - inside she really does love you for it all!

Vicki said...

ahh I have one too. We have to influence them or someone else will.

good job Mom!

Linda said...

There's beauty in that girl.

newmexicomtngirl.com said...

what a wonderfully written story. It gave me goose bumps in being proud cause I can relate. It's such an awesome feeling to see the young develop into caring people who move forward and to know you helped guide her.
peace n abundance,

sarah said...

I love this story. . . to remind us all that we really do have an influence on the kids in our lives - whether we realize it at any given time or not.

kikipotamus said...

Yep, it happens. The eye rolling and embarrassment and rebellion are necessary to her finding her own identity and becoming her own person. But trust me, it is all sinking in at some level and one day, once the need to establish her own personhood phase is complete, she will know and appreciate all you taught her. I remember how bitter it tasted the first time I had to admit to myself my mom was right all those years. But then I mellowed right into it and felt grateful to have a wise mom.

joyce said...

;) beautiful little heart breakers

disa said...