formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Of Daughters and Backbones

Every year, my daughter asks me what I want for Christmas. I never know what to tell her. I rarely want anything specific and this year was no different.

Mostly I just want to get through the end of December, unscathed.

But that's not really in her price range.

This year, she's been doing a lot of cool projects for her fine arts class. I've liked them all... been impressed with them all. She doesn't consider herself a 'visual artist' (she got into the program in the creative writing strand), so seeing her step out of her comfort zone and produce really original, risky (for her) pieces of tangible, visible art has been kind of wonderful.

So I asked her to make something for me... something I could hang up and look at.

So she did.

The quote is:

"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be." (Clementine Paddleford)

At first, I thought it an odd choice. After all, I'm her mother, not her daughter.

But as I read it, over and over and over, I was struck by how relevant it is to my life right now, in this very moment.

I asked her why she chose that quote to illustrate. She said she didn't really know, but she kept coming back to it... she was drawn to it...

It just seemed right, even if it didn't seem right.

I actually understood that.

Since she was little, I've tried to teach her that wishing for something isn't enough... if you want it, you have to work for it... you have to throw your back into it.

And she does.

But I don't. Not always.

And not lately, it seems.

There's been a lot of wishing going on... in my head and in my heart...

But I haven't been actively working toward what I'm wishing for.

I've been sitting at the bottom of the ladder instead of climbing toward the top.

See, I don't like ladders. They scare me. They give me jelly-knees and when I'm on them and look down, I feel sick.

But you know what?

I also haven't gotten to see the view from the top. Not lately. Not for quite a while.

So I'm going to hang this beautiful piece and I'm going to read it every day. I'm going to remember that wishing isn't enough... that to see the view, I have to climb the ladder.

I'm going to dust my backbone off and replace my wishbone with it... and I'm going to get to work.


Jennifer Matthaei Cottrell said...

Al I can say is wow! I love your fb posts and I have to say I would love to meet your daughter....she seems wise beyond her years. You are a great mother Diane. I know things are crazy, unsettled and uncomfortable right now, but you two are a great team destined for great things!

Jennifer Hirsch Hall said...

I love your daughter's painting very much and have always loved this quote - it came up on a Google search I did for the quote. I have used this image on my personal FB page for the moment. If that's not okay with you, just let me know and I'll be happy to take it down.