My oldest child and I were having a discussion the other night about how she feels she's seen (or, rather, not seen) by my wife and I. I thought it was a great conversation because she was able to speak honestly about how she's been feeling lately.
We were talking at one point about how my wife and I still talk to her as if she were much younger and still needed to be reminded of everything. She was choosing her words carefully, and there was one statement that stood out for me, and I want to remember that.
"When I was 3, I was little, and small, and 3. But now I'm big, and tall, and 12."
I told her that was one of the smartest, wisest things I'd heard her say. I really met her on that night, in the way that I arrived at where she was, instead of looking at her from where I usually did, as a daughter or a kid or a child. That statement of hers was like the buddha touching the earth, in that it was a statement of "this is who I am right now, not who I was, nor who I will be." And I was able to hear and see that that was what she was saying, and not the simplistic statement it might seem to be.
I met my daughter the other night. Not as a kid, or a child, but as a person. And it was wonderful.