Below are just a few of the things that I have been able to witness that make me stop, take pause, and think to myself, Parenting level: expert. That's going to be me someday!
1. Your sweet and simple lunch note.
It only takes a moment of your day, but I have seen the smile on your kiddo's face when they open up their lunch and see a note. Heck, even if they can't read the whole note, they delight in it and keep going back to it all lunch long. I imagine that I would feel that same way if I opened up my lunchbox and saw that the people who love and adore me had taken a moment to remind me of that!
2. The way that your eyes light up when you see your children coming down the hall.
I see it, right at dismissal time. The bell rings and your eyes start scanning. Even when I cannot see your child, I know the exact moment that you have spotted them — your whole body and face changes. You look like a kid on Christmas morning that has spotted their name on the tag of a present. All of the love that you have for your child is written all over you at that moment of reunion.
3. The way you send your child off to class but stop to fill me in.
You wait until your kiddo is out of earshot before you fill me on a hard morning, or a worry that they currently have, or the incident that took place with so-and-so that will affect them that day. You make sure that they are living their autonomous life, but you also make sure that they have a safe place to land if things start to unravel. You make it so a crying second grader doesn't have to come to my desk to explain the whole story of their cat being put to sleep, causing fresh wounds to open up — they can just come down to my office and be sad. And you will have taken the time to pave that way for them to just be themselves.
4. You don't shame your kids on social media.
I get it. Kids do hilarious things, even when you are mad at them — sometimes that's exactly why you are mad at them! But I give you so many props for not being the parent to hop on Facebook or other social media platforms to grumble or take a photo and monopolize the moment for "likes" and laughs. I understand that I haven't been there — I know that kids are hard work sometimes. But in this day and age, it feels like it's harder work to remain positive and praise their successes rather than get a giggle at their failures and grumbles. I see you posting about the gymnastics meet and feel your pride through the photos that you share. And I so appreciate that breath of fresh air in our world today.
5. You leave them with great words to fuel their day.
Sure, you tell them to "have a great day" and that you love them, but you also tell them to be great today, and to take care of people, and to make a difference in the world. You fill their bellies with breakfast, bring them all the way to school or get them on the bus, and send them off with an order — be the best you that you could possibly be today, because I know exactly what greatness you are capable of. And it shows. When they get off the bus and come through the front doors, they are ready to go. It's a fresh day and they have the best support system in the world. And whether you walk them through the doors or not, know that it's resonating in their minds and hearts, and it shines through them. They're fully equipped to be their best self every day because of you.
I see it, parents. And I see the impact that it has on your kids day-to-day. You're doing an amazing job and I cannot wait to join your ranks so that I can strive to do the same. Until then, I'll be watching and tucking things away for when I'll need it — because I know that one day I will definitely want to revisit the lessons you've all taught me even without realizing it.
Original article written by Mandy Marcellis appears in Popsugar.
Image from Jon Flobrant / StockSnap