I want to gush. I want you all to know the fantastic wonder that is my oldest born. My daughter.
There is no better word for her than challenge.
Challenge, as described by google dictionary is:
an objection or query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof.
This. is. my. daughter.
When I saw the writing assignment for today I immediately thought of her. She has challenged me to be who I am since the day she was born. I decided to write about her and all the ways that she pushes me to be me...then I read the definition of the word challenge and my thoughts on the matter completely changed. Bloomed actually. While I was ready to illustrate specifics, I was not fully understanding just how much of a challenger she is.
This girl is now and has always been a seeker of truth. Every question. Every stubborn defiance. Every decision has been about getting to the bottom of the truth of the situation. When she was so tiny I found that she did not simply ask "why?" She asked me to prove it. She could not seem to get dressed unless she knew the destination and the ramifications of going naked. She had a deep need to understand the timing of bed and the reasoning behind green beans.
"Because I said so" never ever worked.
I quickly learned that life was going to be much simpler if I just offered up the why before she could ask it. My many words seemed insane but soothed her need to know. If I could explain it she was all on board.
That worked until she got to be about four. Then she started asking the hard questions. She started by asking me why I wore blush and mascara. The answers "so I can look pretty" or "to help me look younger" sounded so very lame. She could not find truth there. She asked me if I didn't like how I already looked. She did not accept my sighs as answers.
At five she asked me if the Apostle John could see himself when he saw the 12 apostles sitting around the heavenly throne.
Her teenage years brought questions about God. Oy. While she did not ask me this directly, I know that she squeezed her youth pastor by asking "if God is with us always, why do we beg him to be here when we pray?"
She wants to know why humans continue to kill animals for food. Do not attempt to answer her with scripture. Trust me here.
She wants to know who could possibly like that particular outfit and what would possess them to pay that price for it.
She wants to know why people put faith in things that the church has taught when the church has been responsible for so much killing in the name of God.
She wants to know the exact reason I can mother my children with kindness on the days when she would like to whop all her siblings simultaneously upside the head.
She wants to know if souls can recirculate and if not, why? and can I prove it.
She wants to know why she still looks for and misses her twin that was lost in utero.
She wants to know. And her desire to know challenges me to be me.
Because she asks for truth. She demands it. When she feels like truth is not happening she calls it out. I am challenged each day to be as authentic as I can be because I know that she will call me on it if I am not.
Am I afraid?
But I delight in her. I delight in her inability to accept the status quo. I delight in her piercing gaze and her thoughtful insight. I appreciate her willingness to push the edge of everything. She stretches the boundaries of convention in search of the reasons.
Tradition is never enough. Because is a cop out. Acceptance without is question is abominable...and stupid.
She challenges me, this girl. Every day.
May her search for truth continue as long as there is truth to challenge.
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Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
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