Tonight was Jazmine’s Cubbie Awards Night at Awana. It was her first ever. Her father and I were so proud! I sat close so I could get a good picture of her getting her award. I could not wait to hear them say her name.
This is what happened.
Her name was called. Jazmine Lee. She hears it but does not move. An Awana leader, who happens to be a friend of mine, nudges her to walk up. Jazmine rolls her eyes heavenward, slumps her shoulders forward, holds her head down and begins to slowly saunter up to get her award. She huffs and sighs the whole way. About halfway to the front she spazzes a bit. She jogs in place and lets the rest of her body shake all while keeping her eyes rolled heavenward. When she finally gets to the front, she huffs and sighs again, all while keeping her eyes rolled heavenward, receives her award and quickly saunters back to her seat.
It was at that moment that I realized that is my Jaz.
That’s my Jazmine. That is who she is. She isn’t like my friends daughter who walked up daintily and graciously accepted her award with a smile on her face. She isn’t like another friend of hers who ran up to receive her award. That’s not my Jaz.
My Jazmine can do without unsolicited physical touch from just about everybody with the exception of me, my sister, and her “best” friend. All others, including her father, are on her short list. She is not the four-year old that will go and hug her friends when she sees them. She is not the four-year old that seeks someones public verbal praise. She is not the prim and proper little girl (not that she hasn’t been taught proper instruction). That’s not my Jazmine.
My Jazmine IS the little girl who will speak her mind regardless of how corrective a tone of voice you use with her. My Jazmine IS the little girl loves to laugh and play as long as she can occupy her own personal space. My Jazmine IS the little girl who loves to play and care for babies (as best as she can). My Jazmine IS the little girl who would rather hang out with friends of her parents rather than friends of her own. That’s my little girl. That’s my Jazmine.
I praise God. He caused me to see how I would try to correct Jaz and mold her into a better, or what I considered to be a better public image instead of the one he made her in. There is nothing wrong with Jazmine. Truth be told, she is a little me. I’ve learned how to maneuver me. When I see me in her, I fear that she will have to experience the painful growing pains of being a drama-free, no-nonsense leader. My prior course of action against this inevitability was to try to recast/remold her. That was wrong. I let her be. I teach her but I don’t remake her. I usher her to the throne of grace and allow my Master Jesus to mold her into the woman He created her to be for Him. Do I still teach her? Yes. Do I still correct her? Yes. But I will no longer apologize for who she is and be inwardly embarrassed about how she reacts to unsolicited attentions. I am Jazmine’s mother and I am proud of her.