I see you be brave

I often wonder...

How much of who we are was already programmed in our brains or determined long before we were born, just waiting to be unlocked and revealed?  How much is a reflection of how we were raised and what we were exposed to? How much is grown from the struggles we have endured, either directly a result of OR in spite of?

I reflect on decisions I began making twenty years ago wondering if I would still have ended up here or become this woman without having to be brave, without choosing to think of someone else's needs before my own.

As I watch my daughter run, twirl, sing, dance, and jump headfirst into her beautiful new life, I wonder if she is brave because she no longer has to worry about her basic needs being met, because she survived a life I can't and don't want to even begin to imagine, or because she knows she has no need to worry because she is surrounded in love and knows deep in her bones that someone will always be there to catch her. Is she brave because we took the same scary leap together into a new life?

Today I watched her take a new friend's hand and climb aboard a boat for the first time, gaze out on the "sparkly water", and I was amazed at how fearless she was. I know she has been at this lake before and splashed along the sandy shore.  But how she goes from that (and clinging to her grandma at the local pool), to asking new friends to hold her while she dips her toes in the deep cold water again and again, looking like she just might jump over the side of the pontoon and let the life jacket do it's job and bob her endlessly up and down until the sun disappears.

How much of my three beautiful wonders is because of how we are parenting and loving them? Would they have been the people they will be regardless of who raised them? Or were they created just for us?


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