Project Nine

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.


  1. That is such a wonderful and thoughtful act of love. I hope someday your daughter understands how special you are as a mom and a woman!

  2. Jenni FairbanksDecember 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Wow…I love this. How inspiring for me as the mother of an almost 3 year old who is listening an soaking in way more than I give him credit for.

  3. Thanks ladies!

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