It hit me the other day that as much as I want my parents to be proud of me, what I really want is for my kids to be proud of me. My kids are with me almost 24/7 lately. They have seen me at my best but also see me at my most vulnerable. They see me when I am frustrated and when I am just done. Done with this crazy pandemic, done making yet another meal, done not having five minutes to myself. They see me when my feelings are hurt and when I am overwhelmed.
They See Everything!
Kids watch. They listen. They absorb everything. My oldest is a lot like me. He can instantly tell when something is a little off with someone. He feels it deeply and wants to alleviate whatever burden someone is carrying. Even though it is not his job, he often wants to alleviate whatever burden I am carrying.
Growing up, it was very important to me to make my parents proud. Their opinion of me mattered. If I am honest, it still matters. However, at the end of the day, the people that I am impacting the most are the ones in my home. They watch how I treat the person bagging my groceries and they listen to what I say to the person who cuts me off in traffic.
Tone? What Tone?
It isn’t just the words they hear, it is the tone. I remember yelling thank you loudly and repeatedly to the person at the green light who didn’t go through the intersection quick enough causing me to get stuck at the same light when I was already late. My words said thank you, but my tone said something very different. My kids called me on it. As much as I thought that my words disguised my frustration, they immediately sensed my sarcastic and frustrated tone.
Be Proud of Me
I want to make them proud. I want them to know that I am trying to do the right thing even when the right thing is really hard. Showing up when I want to crawl under the covers. Being a person of my word even when I don’t feel like I have a lot to give. Sticking up for someone when they are being mistreated.
I want them to do the right thing when given an impossible choice in an impossible world. My hope is that when they look back at their childhood, they will know that my heart was in the right place even when my actions got the better of me. When they tell me they are proud of me, my heart literally breaks open. I am proud to be their momma and I want them to be proud of their momma.