I Admire You – A Mother’s Dream Come True

admireWhen my daughter was young, she loved to draw and create colorful images on paper. It was a regular occurrence for me to come home to a beautifully drawn picture that she pulled from her imagination and placed on paper. Some would have cute sayings, some, were scenic depictions, while others were just lines of various colors going in different directions, expressing her creative abilities. Every mother looks forward to getting these!

One day, I came home and the note she left for me said, “I admire you”. Holy cow!!! That was a mother’s dream come true…seriously. There is not one of us that doesn’t hope our child sees us this way. For this little girl to admire me means she had been watching me. I dare say that she probably learned more about who I am as a person from watching me than from listening to me; although, I was never at a loss for words of wisdom to share with her.

No matter how glad my heart was to receive her note, I think, at least for a little while, I internalized it as pressure to perform. I may have even felt a little intimidated. I was a single mom, working an erratic work schedule, often times feeling as though I wasn’t spending enough time with her. While I’m feeling guilty, she’s telling me she admires me! After receiving her sweet note, I sometimes thought to myself ‘Oh my goodness; she admires me. Did I say all of the right things today? Did I do all of the right things today?’ I couldn’t help but ask myself those questions. I can guarantee you that, before I received the note, while she was in the process of admiring me even before telling me, I didn’t always say the right thing. I am 100% positive I didn’t always do the right thing, either; yet she still admired me. I am equally certain that in the days, weeks, months, and years that followed, I have not always done and/or said the right thing.

When our children watch us, it’s so critical to their development that we don’t portray ourselves as perfect. We certainly are not. Imagine the admirepressure your little guy or girl would be under if they thought you were perfect and then people tell them, “You’re just like your Dad/Mom”. How much pressure would that create for them? It is healthy for our kids to know we are imperfect beings, trying to be the best people and parents we can be. They need to know that Mom and Dad are capable of making a mistake. For the sake of their growth, they have to see us own up to our mistakes. To help them become successful adults, they should see us apologize when we’re wrong. In order to develop into responsible individuals they must see us make corrective steps. That’s the best way for them to learn to do it. They will pattern many of their behaviors after ours – good or bad.

They admire us for trying. They admire us for our honesty. They admire us for our presence. They don’t require much; just effort, truth, and involvement. Our children are aware of our shortcomings, yet they love us purely, anyhow!

For years now, that drawing has been on the wall in my closet. I see it every day. It no longer intimidates me. Instead, it is a sweet reminder that I tried my best, and she knows it.