You know how you wish you could go back and do things over again? Yeah, me too! One thing I wish I could “do over” is mothering my daughter. Amanda came into the world with her own idea of how her life should go. Any deviation from it and there was hell to pay. She was stubborn, extremely strong willed, and opinionated.
I pulled my hair out every morning when it was time to go to work. My little darling would stomp her tiny foot and refuse to wear the outfit I picked that day. I was late practically every day no matter how much I planned or how prepared I was to rebut a three-year old’s arguments.
By the time Amanda was eight, both our foreheads were sore from the constant headbutts and collisions. Her second-grade teacher approached me and wondered if I had considered counseling. That threw me for a loop! When I talked to my husband about it, he agreed. He was tired refereeing. I asked around and found the name of a therapist. Finally, we would find out how to fix my sweet girl.
Once a week, Amanda and I would go and talk to Sharon. After a few weeks, Sharon privately asked me about my background: where I grew up, about my parents, siblings, etc. Then she asked me an odd question: why hadn’t I married an alcoholic, like my dad?
She told me that I didn’t follow the statistics: I should have married an alcoholic. I told her I had determined at a young age that I would not live like that when I got married and had children. I would love my children and treat them well. Our therapist then informed me that only a person with an extremely strong will could have made such a plan unfold and avoid the normal path.
Then it hit me: I made Amanda the way she was. It was in the DNA.
Sharon then explained that having a strong will is not a bad thing if directed toward positive activities, such as academics, sports, or music, but once a negative influence gets in there, watch out!
I wish I could report that all was fine and dandy after that revelation. Amanda’s teen years were awful. We moved from our tiny community to a big city with big city drama. My prayers increased as she made more defiant choices. But then Amanda took classes to become a certified nurse’s assistant while still in high school. A year later, she completed a med-aide course to give medication to her nursing home residents. The responsibility of working, making her own money, and the choices it allowed helped her blossom into a mature young lady.
After her marriage to Curtis in 2012, she was more determined to finish her schooling. In December of 2016, she graduated with honors as a registered nurse. A strong will in the right direction did pay off.
I don’t want to you to think that Amanda was a terrible child all the time. We were always delighted with her sharp wit and her big, tender heart. She always cheered for the underdog. These days, Amanda’s son Kayden is as strong willed and stubborn as she ever was. Amanda understands it and gives him grace; something I had to learn to do. Her father and I are so proud of her!
Tammy Trail lives in the Midwest. A life-long reader of historical fiction, and aspiring writer of romance sent during the American Revolution, and the American West. A mother to two of her own grown children, and foster Mom to teens.