Sometime this summer, I was walking around with laundry in my hands, and out of who-knows-where, I was pummeled with a very disconcerting thought: this December, my daughter will be turning nine. NINE. As in, halfway to EIGHTEEN. As in, by December my parenting-my-daughter-under-my-roof season will be HALFWAY over. I very nearly dropped the laundry. I have so much more to say! I need to teach her so many things! How am I ever going to get it all in?!?!?!?! That night when I tucked her in bed, panicked, I held her hands in mine and made her look me in the eyes and I said, “Honey, there are some things I need to tell you” and I started to rattle off every bit of motherly wisdom I could muster. Things like, “Don’t be friends with mean people. Not ever.” And, “You have to finish college. You must. Period.” She was a bit taken back by the advice overload, particularly since most of it was not immediately applicable. Mostly, I think she was amused.
Rationally, I know I talk to her all the time about life matters. Also, I’m a pastor, so let’s be honest: my child has it doubly bad with both pastoral and maternal ramblings. bless her. But that night, lying in bed, still panicked, I came up with a plan. I am calling it Project Nine. And it launches tonight. Project Nine is my attempt to be more diligent and intentional about the maternal wisdom relay race; you know, passing the baton from one generation to the next. I am insanely lucky to have had two incredible women pass batons to me in my childhood years- my mother, and my grandmother, both of whom have wisdom beyond measure. Each month, I am going to focus on one thing I really want her to know. I will talk to her about it at bedtime, share stories from my life that relate, and I will write her a letter about it. Over the months and years, these letters will be compiled into a journal. I hope it will give her a tangible artifact of the wisdom the women in our family have gained over the years- and hopefully some of it will seep into her being, so that it becomes part of her, like it has become part of me over my lifetime.
I might share snippets on here every now and again as I traverse this new project. I’d love to hear words of wisdom from fellow moms, whether you are traveling ahead of me and my nine year old by a few years or just starting out. I think we can all agree that this world, and our culture in particular, can be a veritable mine field for our daughters. The more guidance and confidence we can impart by word and example, the better.