Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Tough Stuff #2 - Seeing your Child

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.


Goings on at the Glenn's said...

this was so awesome Sarah. Thanks for sharing. I love the "I see you" paragraphs

The Tompkins Family said...

I adore this post.

I see Sammy becoming independent and not wanting my help for every little thing.

I see Presley trying to say every word I tell her.

Peggy, Jason, Lily and Connor said...

great post, sarah!

-i see lily learning to color inside the lines better and better, i see her struggling with how to actually be a good girl in so many situations.
-i see connor being so smart, and yet so quiet at the same time. i see how smart he is and how many things he knows the words for, but doesn't say them on his own all the time.
this is a great reminder..thanks again sarah!

shellycoulter said...

Needed to read this today! Thank you!

I may do a follow-up blog to this with this exercise. Is that Ok? I will link back to you!

Amy Maslowski said...

I love this post, Sarah! I am starting the day and the weekend and the days to come by focusing on really SEEing my kids and letting them know that I do! Thanks for inspiring (and challenging!) me!

Colleen said...

I see Jack's curiosity, his desire for independence, his way of learning through imitation, and his love of electronics.

Awesome post Sarah!

Raina and Andy said...

love it.

I see Eli's creativity showing through. He now tries to "tell the story" from looking at the pictures and takes toys/things and dance them around talking for them. I see Eli try to be like daddy (crossing his legs and sitting like him) and wanting to me be more independent.


Roz said...

Thanks Sarah. Such an inspiring post...I may link up your post and try to record the things I "see" in each of my children. Would be a great post to do every 1/2 a year or so. As we are prepping for a birthday party at Edinborough Park today, my plan is to SEE my kids there and not get caught up with how the food or table looks. Today is about celebrating our 4 year old!

Danifred said...

Thanks for another inspiring post!

Crystal said...

I loved this post so much - when I first read it, I emailed it to myself so I could re-read it because it spoke to me that much.

I would say this is the number 1 thing I am guilty of with my children and I am really trying to work on it. When you're home with the kids all day, it's hard to really BE there all day. Which is one more reason why I need to enforce that "break" that we talked about previously.

At any rate - LOVED this post. Hope you don't mind if I do something like on my blog :)


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