Since my girls were 2, I have called them “Ladies”.
…when calling them for dinner, when referring to them in public, when walking through the door to greet them.
I never liked the sound of ‘the twins’…seemed a tad dehumanizing, and “kids” seemed to casual.
I think in my subconscious I wanted them to know that, at least to me, they are royalty...not queens that get everything they want, nope: Ladies…who deserve respect but still have to work hard and define their own journey. During these years of training, while I wanted to guide them in many ways, I wanted them to know at ALL TIMES they I respected them…that they deserve respect from others, and they should demand respect from anyone who dares court them or take interest in them.
…and what better way than to call each of them a Lady.
This last weekend was their first homecoming weekend.
They wanted to go but they are new to the school so didn’t know anyone…
…so they took each other.
Over the past month while traveling I heard stories of how one got a dress, the other got a necklace, but it wasn’t until they came down ready for pictures that I realized how stunning they both are…
…and how truly proud of who they are turning out to be.
…and how truly not-ready I am for them to be launched into the world.
I took photos of each of them, and the camera betrayed me.
Whether it was the “magic hour” of lighting, or the “now all grown up” lens filter, I felt like I was shooting a fashion show with two familiar but wholly foreign young adults:
Then some together:
Once those were done we took some of us parents:
I think my goal was to show that we are still the adults and that they are still just children…
…but I think these photos reinforced is that the adults are just OLD and the children have grown into wonderful young Ladies.
After looking at these, I started to wonder, “What’s left for me to do?”
While the "make sure they’ve got clothes and food and a roof over their head" is checked off, I know I still have a few years to reinforce what being a Lady means.
- Demanding respect
- Confidence in your self, and your unique journey
- Not letting anyone define you
- Not letting your identity be subject to any boy/person/sport/job/event
- Staying humble
- That true happiness comes from genuine relationships with God and others, not things (although horses are things…and they make them quite happy…but maybe it’s the relationship they are creating with the horses…I’ll go with that)
- Helping others
- Putting others first
I’ve basically got 3 years left. I feel I’ve done OK so far, but time is fleeting…it’s time to double-down.
The most effective way? To model those traits in myself, to live in more moments, to not be defined by my job, but in my self and my unique journey, and possibly most importantly: in how I treat MY lady…so they know how a Lady is treated and not accept any less from anyone.
Here’s to life! It never stops changing, and my prayer is I can become a better me…
…if not for my own benefit, then for the benefit of my 3 Ladies.
Love you, Ladies.