I was talking with my husband the other night, and I told him how much I am in awe of our children. It isn’t what they do – or what they can do – it’s who they are. They are good kids. Really good. DS1 is so bright he scares me, he furrows his brow when he reads, and he makes breakfast in bed for people just because. DS2 went up to a teammate of DS1’s and hugged him after their team lost in the playoffs. He never leaves me without a giant hug and a kiss, and he is unashamed at being nutty and daring and funny and just himself. He prays for strangers.
My kids play Jingle Bells together before school. They love life so much, not just their lives but life in general. Everything is shiny and new and when I try to pull myself out of the fog of “and how am I going to screw them up” I can just enjoy, for the moment, two independent lives who just love living.
They don’t make their beds, they’re slobs, they sneak food into their rooms and lie to me. We were at Target the other night and I almost gave DS1 a time-out in Aisle 7 because he was being a brat. They aren’t miracle kids. They forget homework and ignore me, and love nothing more than to zone out in front of the tube.
But it hit me today, as I’m tired and battered and completely stressed out and have no idea what I’m going to eat today – that I am in awe of them, and perhaps, just perhaps, my parents were in awe of me. Maybe what I saw as mom’s judgement that I was not good enough was seeing promise in me, the way I can in my boys. I praise them for who they are, and I never had that, but that’s an entirely different ball of was.
The first moment I held my oldest, doped up on meds and recovering from surgery, I was stunned by how incredible he was, this new life, this new being that was part me and part my husband. And as I watched him grow and his brother came along, my pride beamed at every little thing. Was that how my mom felt about me? Did she think that I was enough? That I did so much that she never thought possible? She’s gone, and I can’t ask my father. But just for a moment, as you think how wonderful your life will be if you could just _____ (lose 5 more pounds, get your ED under control, earn that promotion, run for office, realize your potential, be more beautiful, be a better mom)… stop. Pause. Rewind. And think about how much you love and admire someone in your life. And then just turn that look into the mirror. You may not love and admire yourself. I don’t. But maybe, just maybe, you can imagine that someone in this world loves you just as much. Maybe someone is awed by you.