My daughter – the wild one

Wild girlThere’s a particularly magnificent quality about my nearly-8-year-old daughter that has always fascinated me.

It’s a part of her that attracts other children to her like magnets.

That repels a part of me.

It’s a part of her that is expressed with huge surges of exuberant energy.

I have to battle the desire to tell her to sit down, quieten herself, be still, or worse, “Get a grip!”

It is a part of her that is magical, forceful, creative, so very alive and yet there’s a part of me that wishes it wasn’t there, that wants to squash it and hopes it doesn’t show itself too often.

It is her wildness.

I picture, in my mind’s eye, her face when this wild energy takes over – her eyes are wide, her laughing is maniacal! She runs, climbs, cackles, insists, ignores (me!) and throws her body around!

It is beautiful.

And it is terrifying!

It is beautiful because I know, deep within me, that this is a very basic, deep-rooted part of her youthfulness and her femininity.

It frightens me because I hear the voices of my past and my culture saying, “Girls shouldn’t behave like that!” Girls should be good. Girls should not be wild.

Somehow, I expect wildness of my sons. I expect them to be crazy. Sometimes out-of-control. Always physical. Occasionally aggressive. I do not expect it of my daughter.

Therein lies a huge injustice.

Wildness is a part of her as much as it probably used to be a part of me.

I have the choice to try to change it. And yet I know, intuitively, that it would be dangerous for me to crush it. That to do so would be stealing away a part of her. A part that is there to protect her, guide her and free her.

I am reminded of the wonderful words of one of my favourite authors, Clarissa Pinkola Estés:-

“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.”

I know this woman inside of me. I have re-acquainted myself with her through motherhood (and through Dr Estés’ books, including my favourite Women Who Run With The Wolves). It has been a wonderful reunion. I didn’t recognise how I had missed her until she was back in my life. Now ‘she’ (a part of me) guides me in much of what I do and protects me when life is tough.

Dr Estés goes on…

“Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped.”

In this quote, it is acknowledged that we are born with this wildness, implying that it is not only a natural part of our childhood, but an essential one. It is the lessons we learn through growing-up that teach her to sit still, be quiet, “get a grip” and BE GOOD. And so we lose our connection with her.

I do not wish to rob my daughter of the wisdom inherent in her wildness.

I do not wish to take away from her the joy that she receives in her wild moments.

I wish her to grow into a woman, full in her power. Comfortable, at peace and safe in her femininity.

So I must let her be wild.

And I will learn from her.


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Post Comment Love

13 Responses to “My daughter – the wild one”

  1. In the Hindu spiritual tradition this wildness is personified in the Goddess Kali.

  2. Secret Father says:

    Love this post! I also think I have a wild daughter (although she is only 3 so it is early yet). I have reached the same conclusion – to embrace her inner lioness.

    • TLPAdmin says:

      Good for you! I’m sure at 3 she is perfectly, brilliantly Wild. :) Embrace that lioness … but watch for the bite! x

  3. Great post! I have a wild son. He has so much energy that I have trouble harnessing it – maybe I should let go a bit and stop trying – but that’s difficult to do as he starts school in Sept and I feel obliged to help prepare him for it however I can, as I know the whole ‘sitting still’ part will be difficult. It’s such a dilemma! Part of me wants to let him run free, but the other part wants to teach him that he needs to conform. I guess the solution is letting him do a bit of both, but just trying to teach him that there is a time and a place for everything, and he must learn which behaviour suits which situation – much more difficult than it sounds! Hello from #PoCoLo! :-)

    • TLPAdmin says:

      I think you’re totally right. It’s about getting the balance right. And they learn fabulously quickly that there are different acceptable behaviours in different environments. Thanks for stopping by! :) xx

  4. Suzanne says:

    This is a really well written post and very thought provoking. I think certain children (and their traits) push all of our buttons and make us instinctively want to quash whatever it is they are portraying. It just isn’t becoming! However, they were made that way and I think we need to embrace it and help them embrace themselves, rather than feeling out of place and ‘different’. This is a hard lesson that I’m learning at the moment. I imagine that if you do quash your daughter’s ‘zest for life’ (for want of a better word!) it will come out in rather undesirable behaviour in later life….hmmm!

  5. Coombemill says:

    I think all my kids may be a little wild, but then having a farm to expend their wild energy really does help! popping over from Magic Moments and #PoCoLo

  6. I love this post, so deep, and so true. My son is a bit wild and it terrifies me too sometimes. I struggle between letting him be himself and guiding him to “fit in” (as, sadly, he’s not always robust enough to live with other people’s judgments….hate the word “convention”) Guess it is even tougher with a girl sometimes.

  7. Jaime Oliver says:

    what a really honest post! and i must admit i am the same! i need to let my children be children with out whittling about what other ppl think!

    Thanks for linking up this really thought provoking post with #magicmoments x

  8. Mummy of Two says:

    I would rather a wild child than a shy one, much more fun if not hard work! I’m sure you are helping her become a fantastic young woman, wild side and all!

  9. I think every woman has wildness inside of them. Some just don’t let it shine as brightly as others. I LOVE the photo of her. She looks so alive and enjoying everything that surrounds her. Power to her! She’s grasping a childhood to remember and RUNNING with it. x

  10. Thank you for the thought provoking post. It’s made me think how important it is to guide my daughter as she grows up without restraining her and her character. My daughter is sometimes wild and then I think of The Troggs song… “Wild thing you make my heart sing.”

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