You know how to wake a sleeping baby or get a 4 year old to stop watching TV? Start a blog post. We’ll see if my little guy is awake before I hit publish.
Today is a rainy day. And, it’s fogging my brain up. I was trying to think of a blog post I wanted to write, and I have a jumbled up mess in my head. I want to lay down and take a nap, but instead, I spent way too long ordering a necklace for myself off of Etsy, looking at Pinterest to see how I’m failing as a homemaker, and trying to figure out twitter (again). Seriously, I don’t get it. But, I’m learning.
When I picked Kyle up from preschool today, his first words to me were, “Every fingerprint is different”
I replied, “Were you learning about fingerprints today?”
He laughed in a way that lets me know he is super happy. He is loving his new preschool. He says in a silly, exasperated tone, “No! I learned that I am unique! You know what unique means?”
I said, “Why don’t you tell me.”
He says, “It means I am special.”
“You are special, buddy”
Since he started preschool, I’ve seen a change in him. At his old preschool last year he told me almost daily that he didn’t want to go. He was attending preschool at an elementary school in a very structured classroom organized by the school district. It was our second choice because our first choice (the one he’s in now) was already booked when I finally realized it was time to sign him up for something. I was devastated because I wanted so bad for him to go to the same teacher Avery had. She loved her teacher like a Grandma, and she memorized quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson for crying out loud.
But, when I missed the boat last year, I signed him up for this year a year in advance. I wasn’t going to miss the boat again.
When I used to pick him up from his old preschool, I was met with a kid that was told that he couldn’t get a snack today because everyone wasn’t listening, or it was “really hot in there”, or he didn’t know what he learned that day. Rarely did he exclaim with excitement over something he learned like he is doing now.
He definitely didn’t share quotes with me at dinner like, “Anything can happy child. Anything can be. By Shel Silverstein”
We’re all enjoying preschool this year. A lot more. And learning that you are unique and special is what every four year old should be concentrating on. Not some standardized test that shows whether or not they can point to the right picture of a baseball.
In fact, I wish his teacher could teach him until he goes to college. She is just that special.
And, as I think about that simple concept of teaching kids to be happy, know they are special and unique, and have a positive outlook on life, I wonder…..what happened to my confidence, self-esteem and optimism? I’m sure I had it at some point.
But, the beauty of life is that you never stop learning. And, that is one of the things I’m most grateful for as a mother. I’m learning all over again about the simplicities in life, how special it is to be unique, and that I need to know who I am, be confident in it, and quiet the voices outside of me who are telling me that I’m anything but special. Because those voices can be found anywhere. Those voices stifle the voice deep inside that tells us that we are something important. As unique as the fingerprint God gave us.
And, those voices of negativity are much easier to listen to.
But, when you have kids, you look at them and you want them to love themselves. You know what to say to give them confidence. You know how to coach them through a difficult situation with a friend. You know how to tell them to believe in themselves. No matter what anyone else says. Because you love your children with a depth that is hard to explain to an outsider. But, somewhere along the path we forgot to say it to ourselves.
So, the question I will ask myself when a difficulty arises in my life is, “How would you tell Avery or Kyle or Chandler to handle this situation if it was them fighting with a friend, or being hurt by someone they love”
None of us would tell our kids to dwell on the negative aspects of the situation, or tell themselves that they are a failure because so and so says so. We wouldn’t say, “Well maybe you aren’t good enough to believe in yourself” No mother in her right mind would do that. So, I’m not going to do it to myself either.
It will be a battle, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth fighting.
Wow. This is turning into a self-affirmations speech quickly. And, wouldn’t you know, the baby is awake begging for my attention.
The truth is, I lost that feeling of self-worth somewhere, but I feel it coming back to me one day at a time. These little people I’m raising are raising me too. To be the person I once believed I was. Special. Unique. Worth it.