Before I publish any post, I always ask Mike to read it for me partially for feedback and partially so he can get a better understanding of my feelings which I occasionally fail to communicate with him. After every post I always ask him “Does it sound too negative?” I don’t want anyone reading my posts to think I am complaining about my life with L. I think it just comes naturally to humans to want to express negative emotions just to get them out. I also think it’s important to speak up about things that I don’t usually talk about because I want other new moms, and people in general to know that they aren’t alone.
Sometimes I’ll get asked something along the lines of “how to do you feel about raising L in a world that has become so scary?” Can I tell you, I find some serious problems with this way of thinking. If we raise L and all the other children to think that the world is scary and doesn’t care about them or who they become, that will become their reality. Let’s face it, I am not living in the “same world” my mother was living in when she was in her 20’s. The world is always changing, whose to say that it is doomed? I am hoping L and her peers will discover many ways to make the world better a better place and I will not ever give up that hope. The second she feels me believing the world will never be better than it is in any given moment, that’s when she gives up thriving to be a better person.
Recently I was at my cousins house and she had a friend over who was sitting on the front stoop. L, my cousin and I were looking at the flowers in the garden and when L noticed my cousin’s friend was not with us in the garden she walked over, smiled at her to get her attention and reached her hand out to lead her over to join us. This desire to include others is genuine and comes naturally to L.
Her kindness is unlike anything I have seen in any adult. As adults, most of us have been hurt and left out in our lives, so it makes it easier to judge others and make them feel this way because “we’ve all been there.” Well, L hasn’t been there. She cares so deeply for people she doesn’t know, before she even has a real concept of complex feelings and emotions. I can’t teach her to be that way, that is at the core of who she is. I am truly blessed to be her mommy.
I hope that is who she always is. There is no denying that parts of this world and society today are scary, upsetting, and definitely discouraging but it is our job as parents to be a positive driving force in our children’s lives. There is infinitely more good in this world than bad. That being said, the world doesn’t need anymore assholes either.
The first time she is left out by a group of kids and gets her feelings hurt, I will encourage her to remember how it felt and to do her best not to be the cause of someone else feeling that rejection. I hope to teach her to take her negative experiences and use them to help others.
For every time I tell her she is beautiful or cute, I make a point to also remind her that she is brave, strong and smart. In a world so influenced by looks and wealth, I hope to teach her to be proud of her uniquely brilliant mind.
When she is scared by a loud motorcycle or truck passing by our house, I say “You can’t scare me,”and she confidently responds “NO! NO! NO!” I hope to teach her not to let fear cripple her, and to face the things or people that may stand in her way.
When I’m upset, she has the ability to understand that I need nurturing too at times, giving me more kisses and hugs than usual. In these moments, I say to her “I’ll protect you and you protect me.” I hope to instill in her empathy and to value and appreciate the relationships in her life.
I think it is important to let children be who they are. I can’t make her something she’s not or give her qualities I personally value in myself. I can only guide her to focus on her strengths and hope she will use her assets to make the future a better place. Love will always prevail. Good will always prevail. And I truly believe L is and will continue to be a part of that. We should ALL believe our little ones will make the world a better place because the moment we stop believing that, is the moment they stop trying.