While watching a silly movie in which two teenagers switched bodies, I surprisingly found myself overcome with emotion and a flood of torrential tears.
What caused this kind of reaction?
The scene was a high school football game. A mom and dad were watching their “son” play but their son was actually sitting next to them because he had “switched” bodies with a friend (don’t judge me, I told you it was a silly movie). The dad kept screaming, “That’s my son!” He was so proud. The son got to see first hand how proud and overjoyed his dad was. It made me cry.
Have you ever thought about the idea that usually our proudest moments with regard to our children are when they are not right next to us? It is when they are giving a speech, scoring a touchdown, stepping up and treating someone with kindness. We watch from afar, and they are not witness to our reaction and our feelings of being overjoyed with pride. We can tell them about it later, but they don’t actually see it. I think that is what made me cry, realizing that I probably have not done a sufficient job expressing my delight and pride for each one of my kids—in front of them.
Have you ever noticed that we usually brag about our kids when they are not around? We talk about them sometimes to the point that others probably would like to clamp our lips. For me, my kids are one of my favorite subjects—I could talk about them all day. And now that my son is married, my “new daughter” has been added to the bragging playlist as well. (Don’t ever ask me about one of my kids, because I could tie you up for hours!)
And yet, each one of my kids thinks that another is my favorite child. Truthfully, I don’t have a favorite. Sure, there are days when one is easier than another and if you were to ask me on that day, yes, I may have a favorite. Just kidding…
Perhaps the reason they all think I have a favorite is because I talk favorably about the one who is absent. In other words, I talk highly of each child to my other kids. When I visit my son in Texas, I talk about my other two back home, and vise versa. Do you do that? Why do we do that?
Doesn’t it seem easier to express your feelings and pride for someone when they are not right in front of you?
On one occasion, my husband and I were having dinner with one of my father-in-law’s long-time friends. The friend turned to my husband and said, “Your dad always talked about you and your brother while you were growing up. Your dad is so proud of you.” My husband never knew his father did this. It impacted both of us profoundly.
Maybe today is a good day to tell your kids how proud of them you are? Maybe you can sit down and write them a letter expressing your delight over them? As for me, this letter is dedicated to the loves of my life. A mother couldn’t be more proud.
My kids are better than any Mother’s Day gift I could ever dream up! The best present on that day, or any day, is just to spend time with them. Who agrees with me?