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I Love How F*cking Fearless My Daughter Is

All the things that rattle me to my core simply do not bother her.

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Emma Chao/Scary Mommy; Getty Images

It’s a Wednesday afternoon and my five-year-old daughter and I are walking into her soon-to-be elementary school for the “Kindergarten Roundup,” a gathering for all incoming students and caretakers. As we are shuffled down the hallway and into the library, I grab her hand to offer a little security, something I know I would’ve needed at her age. We are quickly seated, and after a brief introduction of the staff, the principal announces that each teacher will be taking a group of students to their classroom for some fun evaluation activities while the parents stay in their current spots for a quick presentation.

Immediately, I freak out. When I was a kid, separation from my mom, especially in a new environment, was always anxiety inducing. So I leaned down to reassure her, offering her a little comfort and further explanation about what was going to happen. But right when I did, she stiffened and kindly nudged me away. Making her way to the edge of her little chair, she waited excitedly for her name to be called. As soon as it was, she skipped off happily, never looking back.

I sat in awe, wondering how I could have created a person so wildly different from myself. I have spent so many years trying to fix all the things about myself that make life feel hard. And over the years I have created a fictitious character in my mind: a girl who effortlessly enjoys life without the never-ending noise of an overactive brain. A girl that is everything I have always wished I could be. And on this Wednesday afternoon, right in the middle of our kindergarten meetup, I realized that I am raising her.

She is brave. And not the kind that you have to muster up, the effortless kind. A true dynamo. She sprints after the ice cream truck and climbs to the top of the jungle gym. She arrives on the first day of things as if she’s been doing them forever, and she introduces herself to new friends. She asks for what she needs, is not afraid of the dark, and she holds spiders in the palms of her hands. And when someone gives her a hard time, she digs her heels in and shows her strength.

She is confident, obsessed with fashion, knows exactly what she likes, and can’t be swayed. She is always fearlessly joining her two older brothers and their friends, rarely trying to mimic their antics, but creating her own. And while school was always a place of fear and sadness for me at her age, pictures of her in the classroom always feature wacky dance moves and belly laughs with her full personality on display.

And she is fun. Future “party animal” high school superlative kind of fun. While I’m socially exhausted after a quick conversation and rarely enjoy the company of more than two people at once, she is forever searching for a crowd. And she is a “yes” gal, too. By which I mean that with no social or energy limits, she is down for anything, all the time. As my husband likes to say, she is just devouring life, all the time.

But most importantly, she is happy. All the things that rattle me to my core, and make even simple things in life feel really difficult, simply do not bother her. And this is not to say she’s easy, because she is not. She is headstrong and stubborn, and she speaks her mind. But her fearless and adventurous spirit shines through and allows her to enjoy experiences in such an uncomplicated and genuine way. It is pure magic.

And while I used to be sad thinking of this dream girl — the one I always longed to be — I now feel so proud knowing I created her. Somehow, my super-flawed DNA is partially responsible for a human who possesses all the qualities I want, and little of the ones I don’t. Maybe I am more like her than I think.

Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.

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