Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Before I go into details about my adventures...

I must toot my horn that I'm a darn good single-mother! And, I have a daughter who is by my side without all of the drama kids bring. We make a very good team -even though her is infinitely messy, I still have to remind her to put on deodorant and she hasn't picked up on the motivation thing yet - we're so blessed to be partnered as mother and daughter.

Never had I imagined that I would be a single-mother. When she came into my life, I really wanted to be married or at least to get married before she turned 5 so that she could see an example of good, positive love. Well, that didn't happen and look how we turned out - fabulous and our home is full of love.

Last night, Dove had to turn her peanut money order in for Girl Scouts. Well, she'd told people the money was due last week in October because she didn't know and failed to confirm it. I called the troop leader to find that she had a week to collect the money! (Yep, still teaching her responsibility) Fast forward to last night, the order total and the money collected didn't match so she was short. "Who didn't pay?" I asked. Well, since she wasn't organized with making check marks by the name of the payers, she wasn't entirely sure. She had 3 people for sure that hadn't paid. (My responsibility? Nope, not this year...resposibility is my mantra.)

Dove had to make a decision. One person came to pay at the last-minute. She told her grandparents she pay for their order and she cancelled the last one. Cool, right? Nope, she didn't have enough money! She was still short at least $7. I know, I know, I could have paid it and told her to pay me back. But, would she have gotten the lesson? Nope. I know this is true because she doesn't have the motivation to earn allowances even though the chore list is posted on the wall and chores go undone. So, no, she wouldn't have learned a lesson.

"You don't have anymore money?"

"No, this is all I have."

"Well, I think you're going to have to use your quarter collection." This is the same collection that she collected forever of all the states. She offered her precious collection with crocodile tears pouring from her eyes. I had to console my baby. I really wanted to bail her out and sneak the quarters out to make her earn them back, but she had to personally turn that money in and feel the weight of her quarters leave her fingers. It hurt me to know that she made the ultimate sacrifice, but she HAD to learn the lesson.

Later that evening, I told her how proud I was of her for not blaming me for her lack of organization or asking me to give the money for her. She took the responsibility and owned up to her mistakes. That was a definite sign of maturity on her part. And, this will stick with her a long time. (Yep, I stuck to my guns.)

Later that evening, she crawled into my bed with more tears. "Dove, don't ever be so attached to the material things in this world that when they're removed from your possession that it utterly destroys you. Quarters, you can collect once again. But, think of the things that you can't get back. (She answered me, family, friends...yep, she's getting the point.) I remember when I got married, I had a car, apartment full of furniture, etc. When he decided that he wasn't ready for marriage, I had not money to support myself because we'd relocated to NY for me to go to school. When he left, I lost everything. Car, furniture, art work, collectibles, etc. If I allowed it to destroy me and give up on my dream, my life would be totally different today. I wouldn't have gone to acting school, met my friends, or even had you in my life. I learned how strong I was and that I am a survivor. So, don't let material things become so important that when you lose them you become lost and devastated. Understand?"

"Yes, I do," Dove said.

"Now, go wash your face and look in the mirror and remind yourself who you are. Tell yourself how strong you are, you're amazing..."

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