There were days when my kids were still at home that I would find myself ready to bolt as soon as my husband got home from work. We all dream of being the perfect mom when we first hold our babies in our arms but those feelings of confidence can quickly disappear the first time we get stressed because we can’t stop the crying or when we realize that a good nights sleep is something we may never experience again.
Have you ever tried thinking about the things that you love most about each one of your kids to turn a rough day into a good one? Not just the every day stuff but the things that make them each unique because the truth is, when they leave home, those things that set them apart from their siblings are the things that you will miss the most. While they were still living under your roof you should let them know what it is that you love most about them – right on down to their guts! No, not their real guts but the core of what makes them so wonderful in your eyes. Why tell them when they are still at home? Because they need to know that you recognize what truly makes them who they are.
This is a picture of my kids two years ago when my daughter Jennifer was getting married. Yea, they look great now but they weren’t always this beautiful, this calm and this angelic and I wasn’t always the most patient and loving mom either. They can surely attest to that fact.
If I could change two things today they would be first, that I would have asked my mother last year before she passed away, what she really cherished in me. I didn’t have a close relationship with her and I think knowing what she really admired in me may have helped our relationship.
Second, I would have shared with my own kids while they were young the things that I think are so cool about each of them. I didn’t do this when they were still at home so I need to make up for lost time. It is never too late to throw positive comments your kids way! These are some of my thoughts about each one of my rugrats.
Matthew – I love that from the day you were born, you have been happy. Honestly, you popped out with a smile on your face. You may not see that in yourself but I have always appreciated this trait in you. Since you are the oldest of my children, I have thanked God every day that you have had a happy disposition because you have been a great example to your brother and sisters. In fact, I can think of only 3 times in your life, that I know of anyway, where you have been really unhappy.
What a gift a joyful outlook is because you will have difficult times in your life but you have this great way of looking at things that most people do not that will benefit you in all circumstances. I think you get some of that from your Grandpa Moore so thanks for sharing your smile with us. You are also passing this on to your kids and I can see it in them already at their young ages. You are my example for being positive in a world that can be tough.
Alex – You are Mr. Calm. I always thought it was so funny that all your friends were these crazy guys who liked to push the envelope to see what they could get away with and you were the calm one. At least I thought you were the calm one. If this was not the case, please don’t tell me because I would like to keep this picture of you in my mind. Thanks!
Just so you know, I always knew that if you had something to say, you would make your voice heard. I saw this many times when you stood up for someone else who needed a champion – in middle school when you spiked that kid’s unopened Pepsi can because he was picking on your friend. And who could forget the trip to the Principals office a few months later when you punched a kid in the nose for being mean to someone you really didn’t even know. Suspension from school for two days was not a good thing but I was secretly proud of you.
Jennifer – You already know this but until you were about 7 or 8 years old, you would only wear dresses, saddle shoes, a purse slung over your shoulder and your hair in curls. Even in the most frigid of temperatures, you wanted to wear a dress.
Then one day, you were done. No more pink. You traded your dresses in for jeans, tennis shoes, a pony tail and eventually playing all sorts of sports. Little did I know that one day you would love to do crazy and dangerous activities like rock climbing. When I saw you hanging off that 200 foot rock face, my heart stopped but I also knew that you were confident in yourself and your abilities. I now see this as a metaphor for your life as you navigate marriage, motherhood, running a home and your own business. You are a rock star – no pun intended!
Elizabeth – Like Alex, you have been a calm and reassuring presence – since the day your were born. This was a surprise to me because, we all know that red heads have the reputation of being high strung with fiery personalities. This has never been the case with you as you are a strong person who knows what she wants, you work very hard every day and you never give up.
I have watched you over the years persevere to overcome challenges to come to this point in your life where you are a grown woman, accomplished in your field and fulfilling your goals. You have done all of this while maintaining your standards and remembering where you came from. I am so proud of your ability to be so successful in a city that is known for chewing people up and spitting them out. I see Grandpa Meng’s work ethic in you.
So what are the unique, fun and cool things that you luv about your kids? Tell them today. Write it in a letter and send it to them so that they have it to hold on to. It will mean so much to them even years on down the road when you think your words are forgotten. In those times when they need strength, they will remember that you love them completely, right on down to their guts.