Being a parent is hard. You want to do right by your kids. You want to give them things, teach them things. You constantly second-guess your decisions and wonder if you're giving them the foundation they need to make it in this big, scary world. And you're constantly battling the issue of protecting them vs. letting them make their own decisions and consequences.
But sometimes, and it doesn't happen often, you're given a glimpse of your your child's true nature that makes you feel you've done ok so far.
This is Christmas concert week, and I've delivered several edicts to "Wash your hands". The reason being, is that 3 of the 4 of us have had or are on antibiotics. And there's a stomach bug going around at the school, and I really really don't want either of the girls to be sick this week. Talking to the Asst. Principal this morning, I was reminded of last year when my eldest, then in grade 2, missed her concert. She'd been sick, had gone to dress rehearsal but had arrived a little late and someone else filled in for her. She was tearful, but then later that afternoon threw up again. Only the once. I told her if she wanted we could go to the performance and come right home. And instead, she said that the boy that had filled in for her didn't have a speaking part, and that since he had practiced that morning, he should have an opportunity to do it. SHe said this in the midst of her disappointment while having a warm bath. I remember leaving the bathroom and having a little cry at her generosity. She could have insisted on going. But she didn't. And the next morning she said she was happy that this little boy had had a chance to take part.
Note: my youngest DID make her performance. 10 min later she threw up in her classroom. See? WASH YOUR HANDS.
This weekend my youngest, who is now in grade 1, was getting pretty excited for Christmas and was talking about Christmas Eve. She recently lost both her front teeth so has a very cute lisp and a decided twinkle in her eye. We were in the kitchen and she was talking about the 24th. She touched her belly and said, "Mom, it's like there's this big bag of joy right in here." Then she grinned and said..."And then...it just explodes everywhere."
Have you ever heard a better definition of Christmas?
It's moments like these that make me happy I had kids and let me know I'm doing an ok job after all.