Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thanks, Appreciation & Encouragement

I know you just did a double take.

What?  A blog post?  From "You're a Good Mom"?!

It's been awhile.  In all honesty, it's been more than awhile.  It's been forever.  Days led to weeks and weeks led to months, and the overall "busy-ness" of life just caught up with me.  Sorry for that.  I'd love to say it's my New Year's Resolution to get back at and keep writing, but I don't know if that will happen or not.  I may get back at writing a few posts here and there.  I may not.  My answer it's my kids' absolute least favorite answer I give:

"We'll see."

Anyway, here it is.  A gift just in time for Christmas -- a new blog post on "You're a Good Mom."  

Except it's not from me.  It's from my amazing, talented husband.  It's an email he shared with the Program Directors of After School Programs he works with and supports.  I was lucky enough to have him share it with me, too.  As soon as I read it, I instantly wanted to share it with every parent, teacher, coach, grandparent, volunteer, aunt, uncle, and youth worker I knew.  It is an incredibly beautiful, insightful peek into a child who is growing up before our very eyes, and a heartfelt thank you all of those who have contributed to that process.  It is most definitely worth the read.  

If it touches your heart like it touched mine, please share it with someone this Christmas season.  There are so many people who need to hear it.

You're a Good Mom...  And Dad... And teacher, coach, grandparent, volunteer, aunt, uncle, youth worker...

Good morning!

As I sat in my living room this morning, watching my 6-year-old son get himself ready for school, I had one of those “where has the time gone” moments. It’s an incredible thing to witness…this whole growing up and learning thing. I had asked him to brush his teeth, get dressed, find his backpack, and carry out the rest of our morning routine. A few minutes passed and then I realized something. 

He had done it. 

This isn’t anything all that new as he has done this for some time now, but today struck me in a different way. Time is passing and he is growing up. You may be thinking, “Duh, don’t you pay attention to your children?”, but the reality is that I don’t always stop to acknowledge it. So, this time I said, “I noticed you got yourself ready all by yourself this morning. How does that make you feel?” No joke…like, directly from the Ask-Listen-Encourage guidebook. I think I may have even rolled my eyes after hearing me say it aloud. Ha! But as I waited for his response, I saw it. 

He was proud. He was learning. He was growing up.

What exactly does this have to do with you, you ask? I often take it for granted that my children have had so many wonderful, skilled, caring people in their lives. People like you. Our kids go to school, preschool, Sunday school, soccer and basketball practice, visit the museum and library, and so on, but it’s not the content of those experiences that shapes them. It’s people like you who do that. You ask them to think about things in new ways, nurture their confidence, challenge them to do their best, encourage them when they fail, hold them accountable, make them laugh, teach them how to make friends, help them to identify their feelings and give them avenues to express themselves. These are the things that shape them and each of you represent people and programs that provide these experiences for youth in your communities. I know you don’t often hear from families and parents about how you are impacting  and shaping their children, so on their behalf, thank you! Thank you for working with my child(ren) and helping to shape who they are.

I have enjoyed working with you this year and am looking forward to a great 2015. 

Oh yeah, you want to know my son’s response to my question? He pondered it for few seconds, then looked at me with a big grin and said, “It makes me feel big. I feel strong.”

He IS proud. He IS learning. He IS growing up. Thanks for helping.
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