I was chatting with T on the phone the other night. We hadn't caught up in months. T's my Seattle BFF - she brought me out to Seattle in 1997. She introduced me to my husband. She's the first person (after Shawn) to meet my son. She threw me wedding and baby showers whilst very pregnant with her first two children. She introduced me to cosmos and brie and all things sophisticated and adult. She's the bees knees and I miss her something awful.
So anyway, after a quick catch up on each of us, T says - "So what's new with the boys? What's going on with them?"
I lamented the tantrums, the whining, the hard parts of being a mama to two little boys. I was whiney and juvenile.
I said "How are the girls?" She then proceeded to tell me what was special about each. Gracie is funny and loves a good joke "Did you see the picture I sent where she's flipping off her sisters because they won't let her play with them? Where does she get that stuff?? Hysterical!" Sydney was off on her first away from home trip and she told me how sincere and kind she is. About Mia - "Mia loves to write stories and I don't know what it is about that girl but she's going to BE something one day I can tell."
T wasn't saying any of this to put me in my place. That is SO not her. She was genuinely excited to tell me about her girls. Sure, she sprinkled in a bit about sassy mouths, the one who will not give love and hugs, etc. But overall it was just so positive and loving.
After we hung up I was struck by how negative I sounded. About my own children. My boys who ARE funny, and sweet, and smart and are definitely going places in this world. I focused on the bad. Shame on me. T's had her share of ups and downs over the past few years, both professionally and personally, and yet her UP is always up. She tells me she has her moments, her breakdowns, but in the 17 years that I've known her she's always been very positive and up no matter what journey life takes her on. I admire it greatly about her.
So as I went to tuck in my boys her words stuck with me. I kissed Holden good night - he was already drowsy with sleep, but I whispered "I love you to the moon and back my little man - you are amazing and dear and I'm so glad you are in my life!" and he smiled his largest grin and rolled over into happy dreams. Jackson was still awake. I hugged him tightly and told him "YOU are a special and unique boy, and I know you are going to do amazing things in this world. I don't know 'what' you are going to do but whatever it is it is going to be fantabulous!" He grinned the biggest grin I'd seen in a long while. "What do you think it will be mom?" "Something amazing." I responded. And with that he rolled over with a smile and went to sleep.
It was something special to see them both cheered just by words. I always tell them good night and that I love them, but to lift them up just a bit higher brought me UP just a bit higher. I don't think there's anything wrong with lamenting and venting about our children. Don't get me wrong. Parenthood is the hardest job in the world. But I hope this realization also helps me put my boys up a little higher, whenever the opportunity arises. A lesson learned. hopefully one I won't forget anytime soon. Thanks T.