This morning my 11-year old son comes to me and smiles in a weird (but positive) way. He says, “You know, I’m really proud of you. It’s not easy to NOT yell at kids – not a lot of parents can do that. And now we hardly have a day when you yell at us.”
I look back at him and reply, “I’ve worked really hard on that over the past few years.”
He hugs me, then leans back and looks me in the eyes as he maturely and confidently says “I know. I’m really proud of you. It’s not easy and I know I’m a really lucky kid. I love you!”
“I love you too, kiddo.” I kiss him and he goes back upstairs.
You bring tears to my eyes kid. To be appreciated for something I’ve worked very hard on, that in our society gets no real recognition, means the absolute world to me.
If I were to be perfectly honest with myself, at times, being a yelly mommy felt somehow justifiable. But… one day, when you about 3 feet tall, the look on your face, the fear in your eyes got me… it got through my anger, my frustrations, my fears, my insecurities, my beliefs about how to end up with a well behaved kid.
You made me question everything about the relationship a mother is supposed to have with her kids. It cut through the lack of sleep, the stress at work, the dissatisfaction I had with life in general… You made me realize in that moment that no one, especially an innocent child, deserves to be yelled at, even when it’s for “bad or naughty behaviour”. From then on, I was determined to be the kind of mother you deserved to have.
I have good days, I have bad days. I am human. You’ve accepted me for who I am, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thank you for being proud of me. Thank you for telling me. Thank you for seeing my efforts, appreciating me, and celebrating my accomplishments! I love you!
That was a 5-minute exchange, but it was profoundly nourishing.