Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Delicate balance

There is a child in my life. I have a stepdaughter. Her name, at least her name here, is Lovely. Sometimes, the need to relinquish all of my pain of my miscarriage through this keyboard covers the hard and fast facts. I have a stepdaughter.

Lovely started piano lessons yesterday. Apparently, she had piano lessons in the past, before I knew her, but thank you, Kind Blog button, for keeping me from commenting on her former teacher.

So today, Lovely came home with her books and her assignments, and I sat and listened to her practice. I sat in the room, and watched her sit at my beautiful piano and practice. It was bliss.

I tried to keep my freaking mouth shut and hands to myself.

I'm sure you know how well that worked out. Within a couple of minutes, I was perched right next to her on my teacher's bench. We worked through a couple of her assignments, and then I regained composure, backed away, saying, "You are doing great. Just call me if you need me."

In that moment, I wondered if I was learning what a parent might feel like. Do you hover? Do you yearn to help them? Do you struggle to turn loose and let them do it on their own?

Learning to be a stepmother is hard. I hope that I teach Lovely to love herself and to respect others. I hope that I can teach her that family is the most important thing in her life, even when hers hasn't turned out like she thought it would. I hope that I can teach her that I respect and love my mother more than any other woman, although often I disagree with her.

I hope that she is teaching me how to be a mother. A parent. Someone who loves her unconditionally. Someone who wants to help her learn, but is eager to see her do it on her own.

I want to help her find her wings.

And yet, I never want to see her fall.

It is a delicate balance, isn't it?