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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Letting Him Be

Always one to seek validation, I have found that there isn't a lot when it comes to motherhood.

Oh sure, I'll get a dirty glare if Lucas is being loud at the grocery store or throwing food in a restaurant, sometimes a empathetic mom's "I've been there before" look, a helping hand when I'm trying to navigate through an airport with a stroller, two bags and a toddler; I've had elderly men and women reach out and touch my son's cheek and lovingly reminisce about their now adult children's early days as infants, but rarely does anyone ever come out and comment on the job I'm doing.

Good or bad.

My husband and I took all the parenting classes before Lucas was born, (nearly 24 hours worth, he will be the first to tell you), I've subscribed to all the daily, weekly and monthly parenting e-newsletters, read a ton of books, ask my pediatrician a million questions and compare notes with my mommy friends, but in the end, when it comes to parenting, I just sort of wing it and hope that I'm doing something right.

So when Lucas and I hung out with my dear friend Suzy lately, the first time in a year that she has seen me with Lucas, I really appreciated her telling me how good I was with him.

This is a mother of two grown children, grandmother to four and one of the smartest, both beautiful women I know, so her opinion means the world to me.

After asking her to explain what she meant when she told me that I was "good with Lucas", here is what she e-mailed me after our visit:

What I meant was, you were easy with him, you let him "be". You played and seemed very relaxed. You can see that this is how you are with him, because he is so easy himself. Think about it, first time in a new place, first time with me, really -- and he willingly let me kiss and hold him. I waited till he was more settled -- after he relaxed some and came to feed me. But I believe that this kind of behavior is due in a big part from a very grounded mom, someone who keeps everything in perspective. You didn't hover or try to make him perfect... you are in fact just very good with him. Parenting is such a journey, for both mommy and daddy. You seem to have set yourself on a very good course.

I love this and will refer to it often. A little validation goes a very long way. Thank you, Suzy! I love you.

I doubt I'm even conscious of it, but I do try to let Lucas "be". He doesn't need me hovering. He'll get enough of that once he hits double digits.

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Blogger Renee said...

That was a beautiful compliment! And well deserved, you do have to let them be. Let them be children, not little wooden adults.
Plenty of time for that when we grow up.

And least that's what I hear from grown ups. I really don't know.

January 18, 2011 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Shell said...

I would have that hanging up in every room of my house! What a wonderful compliment.

January 18, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

That is probably the best compliment a mother could receive. I love it!

January 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Miel Abeille said...

How sweet! It's a great observation, too. I'm sure you're doing a great job. And maybe the less hovering you do now, the less hovering will be needed as he grows up?

January 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger KLZ said...

That is an amazing gesture - I'll have to remember that moms need praise too. And her words? Speak volumes about you.

January 18, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Chantelle said...

awww I love it. I've only ever had two people tell me I'm a good mom. My own mother and my aunt (her sister). It means so much to hear that doesn't it?
At least you got it in writing so you can show your kids and say "ha, see this?? yeah bitches"

January 18, 2011 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

We all can use some validation now and then. But how wonderful when it comes from someone that you admire and adore! She was very sweet to say what she said, but you also KNOW that she meant every word.

Which speaks volumes about you, my friend.

January 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger The Schweitzers said...

It does seem that being a mommy is a thankless job at times, but we receive so many rewards in watching the progress of our children (the unspoken kind). But what a wonderful friend you have to actually say aloud. Sometimes it's that one little word that keeps us going for the next few weeks.

January 19, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

What a perfect email. I'm so glad you have Suzy to tell you things like that. I'm sorry I don't say it enough but I think you are doing an amazing job too. Lucas is incredibly lucky to have you as a mother. : ) XOXO

January 23, 2011 at 8:34 PM  

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