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For Parents

My Life Gift
by Geena
September 15, 2013

She spins around in her pink ballet shoes in our living room, with her ponytail flying like usual, stops for a moment, and spins again and again. “Mommy, come on, look at me, I can spin five pirouettes in a row now!” she screamed breathlessly. Watching her show, my eyes are full of appreciation and gratification. Whenever I see her with these facial expressions: determined bright eyes; red chubby cheeks; and a big unrestrained smile, my heart fills with warmth, pride, and passion. My life has been changed gradually since I relive my childhood with her—my little daughter, Michelle.

Michelle is the greenest person I know. She cares about the environment, and treats human, animals and plant lives equally. She plants green onions in egg shells and takes care of them every day. She reminds me to reuse plastic bags and, in the meantime, shows me videos about how huge amounts of dumped plastics are photodegraded in the ocean, eaten by marine creatures, and then finally become part of our food chain. The videos made me realize the immensity of the crisis the environment is in, and how much and how quickly it could affect all living things on earth. I am still astonished by the unbelievable facts, and am aware of using plastic bags as little as I can since then.

She loves furry animals, especially cute rabbits, and hates my leather-upper shoes as badly as if she is feeling the pain. She spent plenty of her spare times to research, and collect lots of information about rabbits and build her own website successfully when she was only 10 years old. Once, she made two Shih Tzu-dog friends named Panda and Milly in the playground. Because of the routine visits (dragged by Michelle after dinner), I surprisingly get along with dogs for the first time in my 40-year-old life!

Not only does she care about the environment and animals, but Michelle also cares about people just as much. Once, she invited an unpopular girl, who was being teased and rejected by her friends in public when she asked them if she could join their group for a project, to join her group, and confronted those “friends” with their bullying behaviors. I am so proud of her brave actions and, in the meantime, admire her as well because it reminds me of how much of a chicken I was before, and how I could have never been able to master the courage to do that. Seeing my daughter like this made me become stronger, and inspired me to stand up for myself and others to face the injustice.

Michelle doesn’t only sympathize with other people, but she also shows kindness to our family as well. One day, I got really sick and had to stay in bed. After she arrived back home from school, her little steps started to run upstairs and downstairs. Sooner or later, my tummy had been put on a hot pad which was just microwaved, my forehead was checked by her warm palm from time to time, my ears sounded with some whispering greetings, while my cheek was squeezed by her cool and soft cheek. I felt super warm and comfortable as she was copying the exact same response of mine unconsciously. Those reactions suddenly awoke me to how parental models affect our next generation, and encouraged me to try even harder to become a supporting and positive mother later.

I know that she likes to hang out with friends more often right now, so I decided to spend time, no matter how busy I am, listening to her thoughts (sometimes wild), her complaints (sometimes unreasonable), her angers (sometimes exaggerated), and her secrets (most of the time about boys) patiently. Nevertheless, I didn’t agree with her all the times, but these experiences did make me adjust my attitudes and expectations whenever we dealt the conflicts between “menopause” and “puberty” sometimes in our daily lives. 

Ever since she was born, Michelle has been the apple of my eye. I watch her laughing gleefully, crying quietly, growing taller and stronger, from a small seedling into a tree full of vibrant leaves. Her confidence is boosted through all her life experiences. I am glad but also a little bit sad about her preparing to slip through my fingers and fly independently one day. Accompanying her in her life journey made me realize my weaknesses and my strengths, and I have changed in many ways in order to catch up with her. Her passion towards life has influenced me and my family. She is my life gift!  

—778 words