Growing up, I was bullied a bit. Not terribly, but more than I would’ve liked. Because in all honestly, does anyone actually want to be picked on? No. No, they don’t. What’s worse, some of the bullying was at the hands of my own friends. When I would ask why they picked on me, the unanimous response was always, “Because you’re an easy target.” Now, as a mother to a daughter of my own, I want to make sure that she doesn’t suffer the same fate. I want to ensure that she’s not an easy target for others. I know that teasing—and even bullying—is impossible to prevent, but I want her to hopefully possess qualities that I didn’t—qualities that will help her stand up for herself.
I was, and mostly still am, quiet and non confrontational. I cry at even the thought of someone being mad at me. Granted, motherhood helped me find my voice, but that took 25 years. My daughter, on the other hand, is already quite the spitfire—even at two years old. She’s headstrong and fearless—a little too much of both for my liking if I’m being honest. She’s not afraid to tell you what she wants (or doesn’t want). Spunky and smart, she’s way tougher than I ever was.
In a lot of ways, she reminds me of her daddy, even beyond looking like him. She gets her determination, stubbornness, and rough and tumble-ness from him. Recently, he taught her how to punch. Now, you better to watch for her left hook because it is vicious. He says he wants to make sure she knows how to defend herself and that she can take care of herself when we aren’t around.
While I’m so thankful that she’s learned something I never did, I also want to be sure that we are raising a fierce, yet still compassionate daughter. I want her to have the best qualities of us both. Her daddy’s strength and fire. My soft heart and empathy. For her to be a strong girl—both emotionally and physically. I don’t want her to be an easy target for bullies like I was. I also want her to not be a bully herself. That’s a very fine line to walk, and it’s difficult to know what side your child is on sometimes.
I don’t have all of the answers or the perfect way to ensure our daughter turns out exactly like I hope. I wish I did. This I know—we’re going to keep trucking along. Our daughter is going to keep kissing our boo boos, giving us hugs when she thinks we’re sad, and probably nailing us with punches when we least expect it.