He’s eight now.
And he’s awesome, really.
Sometimes I don’t realize it as much as I should realize it. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the busy of being a mom that we forget to see the awesome in our kids.
It’s just like us.
It’s easy to get so crazy caught up in the busy of the moment and the frustration of kids fighting over who got more ice cream. (Note to my mom – I now get why you would joke about needing a scale so it was equal.) It’s easy to walk in their rooms and to see all the toys strewn about the floor and to miss that they were just being kids playing – not making our jobs harder. It’s easy to get frustrated when they’re late or crabby or not wanting to take a shower (what is it with that?).
And then tonight, tonight for some reason I sat at the table and watched my eight year old son dish up ice cream. Java Chunk, I might add, because his mom gets a vote somewhere.
I watched him, the baby I birthed eight years ago, go through all the steps of dishing up ice-cream with complete and utter joy for that moment. I mean, total ridiculous two scoop joy.
Joy over ice cream.
I watched him and my eyes welled with tears as I saw him hum and smile with each scoop put into the blue Ikea cup. And it wasn’t about the ice cream dishing up skills or that he took exactly the amount I would want him to take. It was because he was happy.
Just plain happy. Doughnuts with sprinkles make him happy. Marshmallows happy. Minecraft with StampyLongNose happy. He’s just plain and simple happy.
Even though my world feels chaotic and crazy and there are times where he’ll see me crying. There are times where I mess up and get way too mad at him and get grumpy and say just go to bed right now. There are times where we are late for school in the morning, like today, and I’ll get so so frustrated at him.
He really holds no record of all those mess up times.
He doesn’t remember all the tough stuff that he had to do yesterday and let it define him today. He doesn’t worry that his friends teased him every morning but just goes in and smiles and tries again. He doesn’t let getting spelling words wrong on his test that we worked and worked and worked on define him – he saw that he was so close and got eight right.
Sometimes I am so hard on me.
I’ll tell myself that I’m not a good mom or that I’m messing up or that those kids will remember all the times that I said no and all the things that I didn’t do.
But what if they remember nights like this where I simply said yes to ice cream?
What if I’m looking at the wrong things?
What if, for him, he’s just happy because he just is?
Maybe then, maybe I can learn. Maybe I can give myself an ounce of grace in this motherhood journey. Maybe, just maybe, I can learn from his happy over ice cream and let it trickle again into my own life.
Maybe you can too.
Watch your kids.
Just watch them. Watch them sleep or play or write their letters. Listen to their excitement about that bug out the window or how at recess they played the coolest game ever.
I think we just need to be reminded that we actually are doing way better than we often give ourselves credit for.
I think you’re doing great.
It’s not the gigantic things that matter.
It’s little things, my friend, the little things that matter most.
Like ice cream on a Wednesday.
So chin up. Carry on. You are probably doing way better than you think.