My daughter recently read “Pride and Prejudice.” As many of you know, this is my favorite book. I aspire to be Lizzie Bennett. Well, a modern day version because I’m rather fond of indoor plumbing.
There’s a little backstory to my daughter reading this novel. For AP Lang, they were required to read the first three chapters of a book from a time period they had trouble with, which is the 19th century for her. And she was not loving the book when she began to read it, and couldn’t understand why I loved it so, but she chose to keep reading it.
Proud moment. My daughter chose to voluntarily read this book. (and it’s a requirement for college English next year so she’s a bit ahead of the game)
And we began discussing the book, my daughters perspective that Lizzie was a boy hungry gossip, and my perspective was that my daughter was nuts. But for arguments sake I tried to pretend that she might have a point in certain respects. A very small point, but there’s nothing like a good debate.
Not so proud that she found this book to be the first recorded chick lit novel.
One morning I got a text from her when she was on the M101 on her way to school.
DAUGHTER: OMG Char marries Mr. Collins???
Proud moment. My daughter texting me about a plot point in the book.
It’s amazing that my daughter reading my favorite novel could bring me so much joy. It was wonderful to see the novel though her eyes, to discuss certain plot points and reasons why Austen chose to portray certain things in certain ways. We analyzed the book as scholars, referred to it as a historical point of reference, and bonded as mother and daughter.
Bonding. That was the best part. Sitting at the table, or walking down the street, we were able to communicate with one another on a different level than just Mother/Daughter. As my kid is smarter than me, and often more astute, we were able to discuss this novel as equals. Our relationship had just reached a new level. I began to really see my daughter as the woman she will soon become.
I am proud of the child she was, and I am proud of the woman she is becoming. There are times, especially during middle school or teething, when a parent feels like they are failing at parenting. They feel like they are the worst parent in the world, and things will never get better. And then you hit a moment….and you exhale. You realize that though not perfect, you did some things right. You realize that you’ve raised a decent human being who you are now able to have an actual relationship with.
When you hit one of these moments, savor it. Because you know there are still going to be bumps ahead. But take advantage of this small victory- this moment when you see your kid in a new light.
Allow yourself to spend a moment being proud. You deserve it.