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31 Days to Shine: On Parenting

October 25, 2013

you are worth more

Sometimes I forget.

We get so enmeshed n their lives, in every project and grade. I forget that while these are people I made, they are not me. What they do or don’t do, while it is a reflection on me, it doesn’t define me.

I find myself feeling tarnished by their faults. Shall we recall the Day of the Pooped Pants? Or the biting. or the Week of Forgotten Homework.

 I carry their mistakes, their flaws, around with me like a leaden blanket. I own them as if they were mine. I blame myself, I search past actions, past words to try and figure out WHY.

I writhe with shame.

When in reality, they are doing what kids do. Missing the mark, making mistakes, rattling the locks. Testing boundaries, establishing their identity and figuring out just how far Mom will bend before she breaks.

They’re doing their job.

Then there’s the other side of the coin. My 6yo is working on a Molly Pilgrim project and I was gobsmacked that HE wanted to do all the gluing HIMSELF! I forgot it wasn’t MY project. (We were making lederhosen. And yes, I had to look that up to spell it.) He glued the rick rack on crooked. But then again, it’s not my lederhosen.

They will succeed and they will fail. And I am more than the sum of those efforts. 

Let go of the lederhosen. Put down the glue-gun. Let them own their work, their weaknesses and instead, watch their back. Point their shoulders in the right direction. Stand behind them, and be there, whether they succeed or fail. Love them.

I was trying to explain this concept to the 6yo. I told him I had his back. What does it mean to watch my back? His response: “You mean, like, if you were carrying me, and I was looking over your shoulder and I saw bad guys coming behind you and I drew my sword and killed them before they could hurt you?”

Yeah, that. That’s exactly what it means.

That’s all they really need from you. Give them direction. Give them love. And watch their back.

So are you. Happy Friday, shiny people! Have a terrific weekend.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2013 5:32 am

    Ya’ gotta’ love children, they take everything so literally. I love how your son’s got your back. You never know when you will need to draw your sword and protect your loved ones.

    Parenting is the most difficult job. I can be so hard to measure success. An important part of growing up is learning from your mistakes. Life is full of trial and error. The job of a parent is to make sure the mistakes our children make do not have lasting consequences. The older they get, the more independent you want them to be and the older they get, the greater the consequences from mistakes. It’s tough balancing act for parents.

    Our children shine the brightest when they make the right choices for themselves. Who cares if the the rick rack is on crooked? For your son, it was a job well done.


  1. 31 Days to Shine: Choose to Shine, The End | Adelle Gabrielson

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