She is unlike me in so many ways, but the most beautiful gift I have been given this year is the realization that parenting is not about mirroring yourself, but rather a stretching opportunity to see the world through another person’s eyes. Its conversations like this that remind me why my introverted child is such a blessing. Even on the days I wonder why I was chosen to be her mom…..I never question how grateful I am that she is my daughter.
“His wife was sick, and in the hospital,” my six year old Blonde child informed me over dinner.
“What? What are you talking about honey?” I replied.
“My bus driver with the white hair, Mr Tom. The reason he was gone for a few days. It was because he had to be with his wife in the hospital,” she stated matter of factly.
Before I knew what was happening, I felt a little tightness in my throat, and a tear form in my eye. “Oh, well thats really sad,” I replied, “I hope she is okay.” Her face was serious as I spoke, but her face is often serious.
The Blonde is my hardest child to read. I used to think it was the spirit of introversion that she inherited in great measure from her father, but the older she has gotten the more I can see that its something more. It’s more than just possessing a quiet spirit. It’s that all on her own….she has manifested that unable to be taught and ever-coveted spirit of empathy.
Not unlike an introvert, people do drain her energy as she navigates social experiences, but when you realize everything that she is actually absorbing just to navigate the world around her, its kind of mind boggling. She truly is experiencing everything those around her feel. She had asked him why he had been gone, and what’s more he answered a six year old girl. Simply beautiful.
Abruptly, she broke my train of thought with her next words, “Maybe we should make him a card, and let him know that we missed him,” she said.
“I think that is just a perfect idea. It’s important that the people in our lives, who help to teach and watch over us, know just how much we appreciate all that they do. Bus drivers are very special people,” I told her. She nodded silently and then smiled a face transforming kind of smile.
“Well I just love him that’s all,” she finished with, before she skipped off to get some craft supplies for her project.
People……some days motherhood is hard. It’s tedious and often rather light in the gratitude department, which can make us feel resentful at times. We give up so much of our time, energy, and even desires to care for our children. But then it’s moments like this…..when you realize its all working.
When your very quiet, black nail polish wearing, occasionally secretive, Tim Burton-Johhny Deep collaboration loving, highly academic, make-up delighting, roller coaster conquering, princess endearing, witch empathizing, rock collecting, edgy storytelling, long legged, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, six year old daughter turns to you and in a few simple words just makes you smile….then it’s a good day.
Despite the fact that I often mutter just how different she is from me, and how ill equipped I often feel at times to be her mother…..it’s moments like this that remind me that I am exactly what she needs…and she is exactly what I need in my life. She sees people. She listens more than she talks. She loves deeper and with action… not just words.
Have kids people…….forget all the sleepless nights, exhaustion, and worry. They will stretch you. They will teach you. They will show you why the world can be better. Motherhood lived in technicolor reminds me they have not been jaded by life, they love to completion, and they are without question a blessing.
Summer Smith is a speaker, writer, and motherhood blogger. She and her family are currently navigating the suburbs of Northern Virginia. As the mother to four young children, Summer maintains her sanity thanks to her sense of humor, copious amounts of coffee, and Amazon Prime. Maya Angelou once said, when reflecting on her childhood, that her mother left an impression like technicolor stars in the midnight sky. Influenced by these words, Summer blogs at her website Motherhood in Technicolor, and can also be found on her Motherhood in Technicolor Facebook page.