These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.
Friday, June 13, 2008
You often hear as a parent talking and sharing with other parents - the frustrations and challenges that come with the territory. As kids grow and develop, their need to be their own person grows, too, and they become frustrated when they feel you holding them too close, or frustrated with their own slowly developing abilities to meet their own needs.
Growing up is frustrating for little ones.
It's lately that I've been noticing through these challenging moments a beautiful and pleasing silver lining. The silver lining being a glimpse at the wonderful adult you will become.
When you get frustrated with me because we can't go to the Rocket Ship park and eat a snowcone because we have to go home and eat dinner and let the dogs out, you might say: "I maaaaad at you, Mommy! I talk baaaaaad to you!"
The silver lining that I see so clearly shining through is that you recognize that you are talking "not nice" to Mommy and you know that this is not okay.
Seem small? Well, it's not. It means that you know what good behavior is and your frustration is causing you to act out, but you recognize it and that's amazing!
When I make a mistake, you point it out to me. "Mommy! You wrong! You WRONG, Mommy!" with a big smile.
I get the opportunity to demonstrate grace and smile as I admit that "Yes, Mommy was wrong! :)" and show that it's okay to make mistakes.
I can see this coming through because you will now declare when you notice that you got something incorrect "I was wrong, Mommy!" and you will smile. I am so happy about this!
We all struggle with the ability to recognize and accept that we are wrong. We make mistakes and we will continue to make mistakes. Being able to recognize it and admit to it makes it easier to grow as a person. I have found in my own life that it's hard to admit mistakes and failures, but the growth that I'm most proud of as a person is growth that I've earned. Growth that comes right from mistakes and life lessons. It's very rewarding when I see you all poised to deal with this.
When I get upset with you, you tell me "don't be fwustwated wiff me, Mommy!" and sometimes will even wag a finger in a knowing way and lecture me that "Dis is your warning, Mommy" like I do with you when you are walking the path to time out. This gives me a unique look at what it's like to be on your end of the spectrum and, when I hear myself coming from you, I can evaluate my parenting techniques and tweak them as needed so I can raise you to be a good person who knows his own value because he's been shown it.
I guess what I'm learning lately is that you can learn a lot from back-talk and the daily battles of youth and growing independence and it can actually look a lot like a silver lining if you tilt your head a little and change your perspective.