Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Anya is full of amazing and wonderful characteristics...but she didn't get any of them from me.
Its been four months since the infamous family unit assignments incident...and I wish I could say it was all behind me.
But its not.
More than 120 days after it all began, we're still dealing with the fallout.
Anya's latest assignment involves talking about her characteristics. The teacher describes it this way...
For the next quilt square, 'Characteristics of Me,' we are asking you to discuss with your child some of his/her characteristics that she has that are similar to characteristics of other family members or relatives. These might be physical characteristics such as eye color, height, etc. These might also be personality traits, talents or abilities such as sense of humor, love of music, stubbornness, love of sports, or patience. Anya is full of amazing and wonderful characteristics. Her patience with her little sister, her love of animals, the gentleness and compassion she shows toward anyone who is hurt or sick.
But she didn't get any of them from me.
This is the latest in a long string of these assignments covering Anya's birth story, origins of her name, a memory story interview, where my family comes from or has lived...and OF COURSE...the baby picture.
Thankfully, Anya has been an incredible sport through this whole thing. She has embraced this assignment...taking a great deal of pleasure and pride in telling her story.
But to be honest, it's been a struggle for me.
Not because I feel like her story is inferior or we don't want to share it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
No...I think its has more to do with the spotlight its shining on the time in her life before she was a part of our family.
This particular assignment emphasized the things she doesn't have in common with her father and me. The characteristics she hasn't inherited from us.
Sure, she has blond hair just like her great-grandma...but she didn't GET it from her.
No one on either side of our family has her amazing blue eyes.
She just happens to like olives like her grandparents.
The origins of her quiet, whispery voice, are a mystery because the rest of us are LOUD.
She may have developed her father's sense of humor...but the original seed didn't come from him.
I guess what it all comes down to is that this assignment is dredging up all kinds of insecurities I have tried so hard to leave behind.
Anya is my daughter, no one can tell me any differently...but this assignment tries awful hard. Instead of concentrating on all of the great things she has done in the last few years, how far she has come and the things we enjoy doing now, together...it takes us back in time.
And I don't like that.
I'm trying really hard to concentrate on the nurture part of Anya's equation and doing everything I can to make this a great, thought-provoking and positive assignment for her....but what I really want is for this darn thing to be OVER!
Edited to add: I did it again! I didn't make something clear in my post. Of course we are handling the assignment positively. All of the feelings discussed in the article are my THOUGHTS. They are not things I would ever convey to Anya. She is my daughter. I would never do anything to make her feel insecure about that in any way. There are many things she does share with the rest of us....her faith, her love of animals, the blond hair just like her great-grandma, the blue eyes just like her brothers, the way she can whistle, just like her daddy.The post was about MY feelings...the way this assignment is making ME feel. I am working incredibly hard to make all of this positive for Anya...its just been incredibly hard on ME. No one can ever tell me she's not my daughter...its just that through my glasses of insecurity this assignment seems to be trying to do that.