anyone who has spent time with m and i know we have an intense relationship. words like peacful or cooperative seldom desrcibe our efforts. struggle and chaos are regulars at casa de taylor. we have our share drama, feelings get hurt unkinds words get said and some days i question my ability to be a good mother. i am overwhelmed by the demands and all that is required to raise this intelligent, passionate, strong willed child.
then a day like yesterday comes along and i'm reminded of the gift she is and what a joy it is to ride this rollercoaster together.
in the world of girl scouting, yesterdays golden gate bridge event was a huge deal. girls from all over the country travel to san francisco to walk across the golden gate bridge , a symbolic bridging ceremony to comemorate moving up from juniors to cadettes or "older girls" as they are called now. normally m is not a much of a hiker. it's often a hassle getting her to agree to go for walk . the trek to the bridge was no different.
the girls couldn't of asked for a nicer day, sunny but not too hot , a little on the windy side, but clear blue skies made for spectacular views. from chrissy fields the girls wound their way towards the bridge. m and i near the back. she was not a happy camper. i braced myself for inevitable complaints and assumed the role of cheerleader mom. with each step she grew more sullen, nor did she appreciate my "you can do it" coaxing. but she wouldn't let go of my hand. we'd stop along the way to gaze at the amazing view and take pictures, this seemed to take the edge off because m was actually smiling . she started to perk up and sheepishly grinned at me saying "it's not so bad mama". you have no idea what a breakthrough that was for her and for us.
we arrived on deck to begin the walk across the bridge with m on the inside. while she kept asking "are we over the ocean" yet she seemed a little fearful of looking down to see for herself. i'd say "not yet, almost there" until finally, we were over the water. m has a dark sense of humor for a ten year old and started edging towards the railing of the bridge peeked over and said, "no, mommy because if you jumped from here you'd missed the water completely" she loves shocking me like that, i just yanked on her hand and scooted her back on the inside, she howled for 5 minutes.
SWAP's (special watchmacallits affectionately pinned) are a girlscout tradition, during the crossing the girls would run into other troops and swap, the theme in the san francisco bay area is "save the bay" and the swap was a tiny little zip lock bag with a foam fish and blue hair gel added to look like water, it turned out very cute. so the girls walked and swapped there way across the bridge in about an hour. at one point m and i got seperated from the troop and actually ended up passing everyone and getting to the end first. not sure how that happened considering we were pulling up the rear for the most part. m liked not being last, hmmm remind you of anyone?
many of the other troops took the bus across and walked back, we didn't have enough wrist bands for everyone so opted to all walk together- both ways.....more groans from the girls, not just m! to tell ya the truth my legs were a bit tired from my 7 mile run the day before. our fearless leader worked it out though with one of the event coordinators and after a celebratory toast of sparkling apple cider (the leader forgot a bottle opener, so like any good "party mom" i scanned the parking lot, spotted a friendly looking biker dude and scored a bottle opener!) we were treated to a luxury tour bus ride back across to chrissy fields. we had the whole bus to ourselves and the girls spread out and were totally impressed that it came equipped with a toilet.
i like to think that as i continue to learn how to be what my daughter needs that we will have times where the hard work pays off, where the struggle turns into understanding and where the lessons we are intended to learn are as sweet and simple as "it's not so bad mama"
the other day m showed me a flyer from school , coach natalie is putting together a walk/run program. she put it on the computer desk and i sort've glanced at it, but didn't say anything. she stood there for a minute and then said "you want me to do it huh?" i casually said, without even looking at her, "sure i do, but it's totally up to you" she paused again and then said "i want to do it" so we'll see if she follows through. i will not reveal to her how badly i want her to give this a go, because this i know: she's contrary and she's my girl.
happy mama's day!