Through My Daughter’s Eyes by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1I love plans. I like to know what is coming up and what I need to do about it. I make weekly to do lists with some tasks to be performed on specific days and other just listed as it doesn’t matter when I complete them as long as I get them done. This helps me feel like I am accomplishing something even if it is just grocery shopping or cleaning the cat litter box. I can cross the task off the list as “done” and this is a good thing.

Since “the flood,” which I say as though it were of biblical proportions, making and keeping plans and schedules have been nearly impossible. The house is slowly coming together and we can now use the kitchen. The office is still in the bedroom but the television has moved back downstairs. Every task from painting to setting up a book-case takes longer than expected and unforeseen problems crop up like mushrooms in the rain.

Now we have two weeks left of school, I have a jewelry/book event up in Michigan over Memorial Day weekend, and a clay camp for eight to twelve-year-olds to teach the Tuesday through Friday after Memorial Day. I am stressed, worried, and unsettled.

And I have a blog to write.

I planned to discuss the treasure hunt that has been a part of my life since strangers packed my kitchen after the flood, but then something magical happened: Mother’s Day.

When Willow was young I received crayoned pictures, thumb-printed flower pots, and painted birdhouses. I cherish them and keep them safe, these mementos of a CIMG1462child past. As she’s grown older she still makes me a card every year and shops with my husband to get me something special.

This year Mike purchased soaps and body wash and made me bath salts, all designed to help manage my stress. Willow assisted by putting these things in a pretty basket that was a joy to receive, as was his hand-made card.

Willow also made me a card but she did so much more. She also created a “World’s Best Mom” certificate which she mounted on pretty paper. Then she gave an amazing gift. A jar that held scraps of paper on which she wrote all the reasons she loves me.

Some of these reasons are funny and sweet, like the fact that I take her shopping or that I am just awesome in general. Others are based on how I treat her:

• You listen to me
• You help me with homework
• You protect me
• You are always so happy when I come homeCIMG1464
• You help me fix my problems
• You take care of me
• You save my ipod/phone when I almost lose it
• You give me what I need
• You love me
• You are the perfect mom for me

My heart melted a bit with each slip of paper that I read. I told her I might cry. She asked me not to but I could tell she was pleased at how much I loved her gift. It is clear she understands that I am in her corner no matter what. I know she is on the right path when she says that I give her what she needs versus what she wants. This is a big difference and one she appreciates.

While these statements were wonderful, what astounded me was what she wrote about how she sees me:

• You are creative
• You are supportive and kind
• You are respectful, honest, and braveCIMG1459
• You can tell when someone needs help
• You are very smart
• You are a great author
• You are very forgiving
• You are daring
• You are inspiring
• You try to find solutions for problems
• You are beautiful inside and out

I am awed and humbled that she sees these qualities in me when I sometimes I can’t see them myself. I trust that she knows these traits are a part of her as well. If not, I am here to remind her, just as she did for me.

Nothing in my life has changed since I opened that jar and read the neat penmanship on the colorful slips of paper. There are still deadlines, obligations, post-disaster construction, and the general messy process of life. But my heart is lighter as I see myself through her eyes, for I am brave and daring. I am supportive and kind. I am the perfect mom for her.

You can learn more about me at:

Farwell-Shadowlands-Final Cover.inddAHE New Cover



25 thoughts on “Through My Daughter’s Eyes by Erin Farwell

  1. Erin, from your posts, I know how upturned your life has been since the “flood.” Wow, nothing like a big dose of love to put things into perspective. Blessings most often come in the wake of the bad things that happen in our lives. Heartfelt post. Thank you.


  2. Erin, you have the most beautiful daughter and she realizes how wonderful you are. This is definitely a Mother’s Day memory to cherish and keep for the rest of your life. I know it’s been hard with all the havoc you’ve been going through, but so glad some of that is changing. You and your daughter must think alike! Thank you for sharing this very special post.


    1. Thanks, Linda. I was so stunned when she told me what was in the jar. I had no idea that she was doing this. She had a plan and made my husband take her to the store so she could purchase the supplies she needed. I love that kid! Thanks for the kind words.


  3. Erin, this is so beautiful and a year to cherish. I know how you feel. Last year when I received the poem from my Granddaughter and I proudly posted it on here, in one of my blogs, it blessed my heart. I never knew she noticed so much about me or how she saw me until that moment. It is a great feeling. I too know how upturned your life has been and again I understand it, because 11 years ago, my house burned to the ground, and I’m still looking for things that I know I have, just to realize, I don’t. The only great thing is that a lot of my photos and videos were stored in the garage so I still have them, but containers of them burned. Also the firemen were able to throw a few albums out into the yard, so even though they are charred and some are a little water spotted, at least I have them. Glad your life was put into perspective and it sounds like you have a great husband as well as a great daughter. Cher’ley


    1. Thanks Cher’ley. As bad as this has been, what you went through is so much worse. When I can’t find something, at least I can narrow it down to a specific set of boxes. 🙂 My daughter made me smile and lifted my spirits in a way I didn’t know was possible. A true gift. Thanks for your comments.


    1. I was weathering the storms okay until yesterday – that really perked me up. 🙂 Slowly but surely we are getting back to where we belong. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.


  4. Erin,
    You truly are blessed. To me the honesty in a child’s statement is worth more than all the praise from well meaning friends. They are both great and we need to hear them, but when a child tells you, you know the truth.

    Keep your head up, this too shall pass and life will continue. (I know, I lost a basement to a flood and my parents home to fire, and I’m still here stronger than ever *at least I think so (smile)* Doris


    1. Thanks Doris. I was surprised at how clearly she saw me and was so touched. And yes, the house will get together. My mom said to me on Sunday, “I can’t wait to see your house all finished.” I said, “Me, too.” 🙂 we are getting there… Thanks for commenting.


  5. Erin, this is an amazing post — I’m SO HAPPY you shared it! Your daughter is insightful and obviously takes some traits after you: beautiful inside and out, brave, and just downright AWESOME! May more blessings unfold as you and your family clean up after “the flood”. And, by the way, all the best in your book and jewelry event!


    1. Thanks, Gayle. My daughter is awesome. 🙂 As for the event in Michigan, it is an annual one at my cousin’s winery and my father and step-mother have a stained glass booth next to mine so we have a great time. This time I also get to be interviewed on the radio about my book while I’m there so that will be fun. Thanks for your support.


  6. I’m almost tearful with you. I love the jar-full. Definitely a keepsake and one that your daughter will appreciate in years to come, when she remembers how great you are at this stage of her life and how she felt. Your house takes second place to such wonderful times and emotions, Erin.


  7. So wonderful, Erin. What a fabulous gift to receive from your fabulous girl. So much thought and love went into that–just beautiful. It is a gift to be able to see ourselves through other’s eyes–and especially when those eyes see with such love. Lovely post!


  8. Wow. I thought I was too busy to read this. I’m glad I decided otherwise. Wonderful, sweet post. Reveals a special mother/daughter relationship that will only grow as the years roll by.


  9. What a wonderful post about a wonderful daughter. But then, she’d have to be–after all, she has the perfect mom.


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