Every parent has dreams for their children, visions we hold onto as we ride the turbulent waves day after day. As parents we are challenged and then transformed when we acknowledge our children are unique and beautiful beings who have goals and visions separate from our own. I celebrate my children’s individualism and their courage to be their own person. I also celebrate my children for achieving the most important dreams I had as a mother.
Over the past few weeks my daughter has given me three early Mother’s Day gifts, each gift was a declaration of the beautiful children I have raised.
The first gift was sent to me a couple weeks ago over text. I was lying in bed, watching TV and getting ready to settle in for the night when my phone buzzed. I clicked on my text to see a picture of Kam Chancellor standing in the popular yoga posture, Standing Bow. He had advertised on his Instagram account how he wanted a private yoga instructor. Ryanne’s text said, “You should totally do it!” She told me she was proud of me. Her belief in me filled me up in ways I cannot describe.
This last Thursday it was an even longer day than normal. As I pulled up to my ex-husband’s house to drop my daughter off she turned around and held up her hand to say ‘I love you.’ I held up my hand and returned the sentiment. I waited in the car and watched her as she was letting herself into the house. She then turned to me and mouthed something I could not understand. I rolled down the window and asked, “What did you say?”
She said, “I appreciate you.”
I’ve thought of that moment over the last several days more times than I can count. My eyes well up with tears and I cannot think of any other words that would have meant more to me than those three words.
I. APPRECIATE. YOU.
It feels damn good to be appreciated, better than anything I can come close to describing.
But I would do it all over again even if it wasn’t appreciated. I wanted to raise my kids and give them the best opportunities I could offer. I’ve wanted to raise kids who are kind, courageous, thoughtful, generous and loving. My kids are all these things. My kids are gifts who keep on giving.
My goals for my children have changed over the years. My expectations for myself as a mother have changed just as much. Through it all, I will say, I’ve created two beautiful masterpieces.