Last week my son was sent home a flyer about a special reading camp at school.
I immediately felt badly.
I tucked it back in his backpack with the “tell me more info” checked in hopes that maybe it would get missed. It did not. Just yesterday the assistant principal called and wondered what my questions were about this camp.
I wanted to tell her no, but thank you.
Because I made it about me, this struggle to write and spell thing.
I made it about me not reading enough. Not drilling the flashcards. Not working even more on the spelling words. I made it a grade about me as a mom.
But I listened to her words.
And in listening I realized I was making all of this about me, not him.
And that needed to stop.
I knew he mattered more than my ego. He mattered more than my pride. He mattered. And so I told the principal that he would love to go. Despite it being four weeks in the summer. Despite it being in the morning and there goes any extra sleep. Despite me giving myself the MOM F for reading badge.
Because I love him.
My word, look at that face. I just love him.
And him getting opportunities to learn more, build his confidence, have fun with friends – that all matters more than any ego I’ve attached to myself about all of this.
That is what mothering is – loving them more than our ego at times.
I didn’t know it would be that hard, sometimes. It’s easy when all the ducks are in a row. Or when you go in for parent conferences and there’s absolutely nothing to talk about. But when there’s stuff? Holy moly. It seems like instead of breathing deep and being super grateful I tend to internalize.
I don’t think it’s just me.
I think that sometimes we are all grading ourselves to harshly. Sometimes I think when Mother’s Day comes around we look around and see everyone else and give them amazing kudos for all they do and then look at our lives and think, yep messed up again.
But let me tell you this. Signing my son up for that camp was not messing up. That was motherhood.
Wait. That is motherhood.
That is fighting, loving, giving, putting their needs above ease and ego. That is what you do. You maybe are just like me and forget about it. You might dismiss it. You might listen to all those voices telling you that you are not enough.
You are enough.
You are a fighter.
You are giving and loving.
And sometimes it might not look like Hallmark’s Pinterest Utopian of Motherhood – but but – it is REAL.
It is you loving your kids and in the end that’s what matters.
The other day my sixteen year old said thanks mom, for driving me to school every day. I’ve driven her all year. Day after day after day. Hour after hour. And today, after a year, she says thank you. All those moments added up and mattered. Just like going to reading camp will. Just like when you rock them those extra minutes. Just like the times you sit in the rain at sporting events. Just like when you wait in doctor’s offices. Just like all of it.
So tonight, put your head on your pillow and let go of all the voices that tell you you messed up. And replace them with this instead:
I have done well.
Because you know what?
Those kids matter. And us fighting for them despite our ego?