Footsteps and fingerprints

Lessons from my daughter #22. 

My little girl has big feet. Really big feet. She was wearing size two shoes at six months old. When I saw those feet for the first time soon after she popped into the world all I could think was no wonder my ribs hurt so badly! 

Miss L has fabulous feet, just ask her. She can clap them together, stretch them over her head, suck on her toes and kick her way out of her pyjama pants. She can stand all by herself and stretch up on her tippy toes. This week she even took her very first step. But Miss L’s favourite use for her feet is to rest them on her tray table at mealtimes and dig her toes into her food. Those toes peeking out at the table all covered in pumpkin never fail to make us all laugh. 

My daughter has her Dadda’s feet. She also has his smile and his round cheeks and his solid build and his laughter, sense of humour, appetite and love of life. In fact, some days I think that the only things she got from me are her steel blue eyes and deep frown lines. If my first thought was for my ribs, my second thought when looking at those tootsies was that I’d have to let go of my dreams of a petite little ballerina. 

It’s not that I wanted to live vicariously through my daughter, although I so wanted to do ballet when I was growing up. It was more that I loved to dance, I still love to dance and I dreamed of sharing that love with my little girl. It also came with the realisation that Miss L was not a mini me. She was not mine to mould or shape but rather to enjoy and to guide into being the best little version of herself that she can be. This girl of mine loves to eat, loves to swim and absolutely loves to play games of every kind. She has amazing hand eye coordination and can catch and roll a ball better than her Mumma. I must admit that I have been a little lost at times and caught myself wondering how this nerdy librarian could ever parent a sportswoman!

All until Sunday night, that is. Miss L quietly turbo-crawled herself down the hallway while we were busy cleaning up and the next thing we heard was the tinkering of piano keys. She had sat with me at the piano a few times but never showed much interest and I don’t play nearly as often as I would wish. But there she was. She had pulled herself up against the bench and balanced on her tippy toes to reach the keys. There were deep elephant stomps and light birdy tweets. There were single notes and multiple notes. Sweetest of all, when I sat down at the bench with my daughter, there was a moment of recognition between us. A shared love. Miss L may not have my feet but she has my fingers.

I’m still not sure how I’ll go with being a swim squad mother one day, or a soccer mum or any other kind of sporting parent, but I will learn. I know my little girl and I know the bond we have between us. If she learns to dance and play piano and read classic novels then that will be great but not as great as sharing the loves that she develops all by herself. 

Walk in my footsteps, little one, but only if the path takes your fancy. Make your own footprints on this earth and I will be there by your side whenever you need a hand. 

I’d love to know, does your child take after you a lot, a little or not at all?


4 thoughts on “Footsteps and fingerprints

  1. Neroli Hills says:

    Beautiful. I have one of each. My son is an athlete. He is built broad and strong. He wants to win but loves playing on a team. He is me. But there are bits of me in my daughter and they shine through. Growing up she looked nothing like me. But today she turns 18 and I am now written on her face and in her heart. Guide, love, enjoy. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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