I remember when our oldest daughter was a little girl. I was a first time mom, and when she was sad, I was sad. I would spend hours trying to think of ways to take her "sad" away. I would make every effort to avoid putting her in a situation that might be hard. I was a "helicopter mom" in every sense of the word, always hovering just in case a rescue was needed. I think, to some degree, this is something moms just do naturally...and of course, it has its place.
Moving ahead seventeen years, and four kids later....I am reflecting today on how over this period of time, I've realized something amazing....that is... that it's o.k. for my kids to be sad. And,that it's o.k. if life is sometimes hard. If my kids had never known sad, then how could they appreciate happy? If things weren't difficult sometimes, how could they have grown into the amazing people that they've become?
As the years have passed, I've felt my role as mom evolve from one of complete protector to one of most dedicated sideline cheerleader. I once heard a saying that has become somewhat of my mantra, "Children become what THEY think YOU think they can become." Through the years, I've realized the importance of being able to put on a brave face for my kids, even when I was afraid. I've learned to smile and tell them, "It will be o.k." even when my own courage wavered. I've gained appreciation for the words, "You can do it", even when the odds looked bad. Last, I've realized that what's most important, is to express my faith in who they are and what they're capable of, no matter how insurmountable the situation may appear. This goes hand in hand with helping them be able to accept failure sometimes,and then move forward with renewed confidence. Kids are resilient, and how blessed we are as moms to share their journey with them.