This is part of my series on the Tough Stuff that keeps me up at night...wondering, worrying, and thinking out. Afraid that I might screw it up...this crazy job of being a mom.
Last night a friend shared that Oprah's LifeClass show was going to have a parenting part. So I taped it and watched. She talked about the time when Toni Morrison spoke about her eyes lighting up when her children walked in the room. How as a mother she had a tendency to look at her kids with a critical eye rather than a loving eye....are their pants zipped, is their hair combed, is their nose wiped, is their face clean, did they do their chores, are they being too loud or making too much of a mess. She had two parents reflect on the impact that moment on her show had on their parenting. It was a GREAT reminder.
Children need and want to be seen and heard. And I will admit that I get busy checking my email, making dinner, changing Sydney's diaper.... and I realize that one of the boys was literally bouncing next to me telling me something - and I missed it. I will admit to saying yes and then moments later after hearing them celebrate, say, "Wait! what did I say yes to?"
Multitasking is a mama's greatest talent but sometimes we forget that multitasking, no matter how productive it can be, can take you away from the most important job as a parent, and that is making your child feel loved, important, and seen.
All people want to be seen.
All people want to know they are valued.
Children have an amazing ability to read your facial expressions, and if they aren't seeing your face when they are excitedly telling you about the Lego ship they just built, well that says a lot.
What children see reflected in our eyes is how they feel about themselves. - Power of Moms retreat take away moment.
Charley I see you. I see the strong reader you are becoming. I see the smart thinker you are. I see when you are tired and we have overdone the fun. I see the thrill of becoming a boyscout. I see you taking your brother's hand, naturally. I see your excited good morning that you give your little sister. I see how you help zip Henry's jacket, run and get a diaper, and help when we are all getting out the door on time. I see how you eat all your food at meal time. I see how you find so much joy in your friend time. I see how you yearn for more independence and how wise you are when we give it to you. I see that you are growing up WAY faster than I can handle.
Henry I see you. I see the adoration you have for your big brother. I see the love you have for your little sister and how you can lay your head in her lap and let her explore your face for hours. I see your need for touch, whether it is when the hug you desire when you are hurt, the need to romp with your brother or your dad, or the tendency to grab onto my leg in new situations. I see your excitement for the time with your grandparents. I see how you love up your little cousins. I see how you are growing up so fast - heck your shoe size is WAY bigger than Charley's was when he was your age. You are your own little person and your pride is amazing when you do things independently.
Sydney I see you. I see your fascination for your big brothers. I see how the world has expanded and you are ready to explore. I see how you LOVE to eat avocados and bananas and sweet potatoes with your little pinching fingers. I see you waving to me, saying "HI MOM!" I see how excited you are to see me whether I return from another room or from behind the peekaboo blanket. However, I also see how even more excited you are when you see daddy walk in the door at night. I see you my dear, how fast this year has gone and how I want to slow down time so much more these days.
So today, I challenge you to see your children.
See their little beings that have only been in the world for 9 months, 3 years, or 7 years. Realize that YOU are the most important person to them right now - and that won't be the case if they don't feel important and loved. Realize that you do impact who they grow up to be and how they grow up to feel.
Share something you see about your children today.