Friday, December 5, 2008
My Daughter's Message
I'm suffering some growing pains, as a parent. I have been blessed with two, wonderfully unique, kind-hearted children (do you feel the "but" coming), but they are both facing challenges that makes my job, as a single mom, more difficult than usual. The three of us are a team, though, and we'll get through this together...we always do.
I sat down at my computer, after being reminded that I was slacking with my entries, ready to journal about the woes/ joys of pre-holiday chaos. I glanced at the picture of the "I Love You" pennies and my heart shifted, so my writing will follow suit. It must have been close to a year ago: I was fairly newly separated and trying to make a home for my children, in the house we are renting. I don't recall the details, but my stress level was, in general, through the roof and I had lost patience with my daughter over something...most likely, it was something insignificant. She went into her brother's room and was, to my relief, entertaining herself quietly for a few minutes. I do recall feeling mildly put-off when she came into the living room and asked me to come see something she had made. We went through the whole "cover your eyes, Mommy...take my hand...I won't let you bump into anything" routine as she led me into her brother's room. She had spread a blanket on the floor and lovingly created the penny message for me. Sweet? Yes! Given the fact that it was in response to my impatience, however, I'd say it went way beyond that.
Years ago, when my son was very young, I saw an interview with John Travolta, on one of the morning news shows. He was talking about his very un-Hollywood, loving, "normal" childhood. He told the interviewer something, about his upbringing, that I will never forget:
"My parents", he said, "celebrated every breath that I took". He added proudly, "There was not a single day of my life when I wasn't absolutely certain of my parents' unconditional love for me."
The key to good parenting: that's it! From the moment I heard that, I realized it was that simple. Easy? No! Simple? Absolutely!
My daughter's beautiful penny message made me recognize that, in spite of my short-comings as a mom, she knows she is loved unconditionally...and she is learning to give that kind of love back!