From the outside looking in it might seem as though I’m hot mess, but trust me, I got this.
You might cringe at the thought of my son running wildly through the park with no shoes, painted finger nails, and zero shame. You might turn the other cheek as my daughter boldly exclaims her opinions about topics above her “appropriate age range” thinking she doesn’t fully understand the topic, and ignoring her input. You might even shake your head in disgust as you see me running through the splash pad in my little black dress with six-inch heels, wondering what kind of example I must be setting for my children.
But it’s okay. We got this.
You see when I watch my boy, I can’t help but smile at his ability to embrace who he is. He dances to his own beat and has never let anyone, even me, change his mind.
He seems like a wild animal to the naked eye but if you could see him the way I do, if you could feel and experience his soul, you would understand that his comedic, over-the-top behavior is a coping mechanism for the suffering he witnesses in this world. He has the innate ability to discern others’ feelings, especially the negative ones, and the only way he knows to make someone better is to make them laugh, by any means necessary, and so he does.
While his behavior may seem “out of control” or “defiant” to you, to me it is beautiful. He has a brilliant mind, a huge heart, and an incredibly wild spirit.
He’s got this.
My girl won’t seem phased by your lack of interest in her words, but please know that she notices. You see, while she has intelligence far above the average eight-year-old, she is a sensitive soul and right now she is trying to figure out who she is.
She pours her soul into those words as she questions and learns from the world around her. She is questioning herself; she is questioning what life means; she is questioning her role in this world; she is questioning everything she knows because she is being raised in a home that places a special value on one’s ability to question, think, opine, and act.
She has been raised with the understanding that her voice does matter and her opinion is valued and while you might see her as a mere small female human, remember that she is learning to navigate her way through this life just as you and I did. Her words and opinions do matter.
And she’s got this.
What you might not have realized about me: I am comfortable with who I am, and all the disgusted, surprised, confused looks in the world won’t make me question my actions for a second.
You see, I am going dancing tonight because I value my own personal time and know that having a social life that isn’t attached to motherhood makes me a better mom. Our stop at the splash pad was a spontaneous idea on the way to the sitters because I want my kids to know that sometimes the greatest memories aren’t planned or perfect, but rather the really messy ones in between.
In that moment my mind wasn’t on what I was wearing, how I looked, or where I was about to go, and it sure as hell wasn’t wondering what you thought of me, it was there in the moment with my kids—the cold water on my face, my dress soaked and clinging to my body, the biggest smile on my face as my kids and I raced thru the water—that is a moment I will never forget!
And ya, I got this.
I have no shame in letting my kids be who they are because I know that they are growing up in a home that encourages self-discovery, independence, worldly experiences, and so much love. I have no shame in letting my kids watch me embrace womanhood with all I have.
My kids are being raised by a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. A woman who works hard to make this world a little bit better. Who pours her heart and soul into everyone she meets. A woman whose comfortable navigating this crazy world without a partner by her side because, not only is she strong and capable, but she refuses to settle for anything less than perfect when it comes to allowing another to take up acreage in her heart. A woman who loves getting dressed up to go dancing just as much as she loves to snuggle up with a good book. They are being raised by the woman who was meant to guide them, and that in itself says enough.
These tiny humans have learned to dance in the rain (literally) and transform a patch of dry soil into a beautiful garden (figuratively). They are being raised as humans who are capable of anything they can dream of; they are being raised with hearts full of love and gratitude; they are being raised to understand compassion, empathy, and selflessness.
They know how to love themselves and also the world around them. They understand that the best thing to do when they are feeling sad or bored is to pour out their heart in service of others, but most importantly they have been raised to view life with a plethora of lenses in order to understand humans and never judge another.
They understand that unless they have lived it, they can never fully understand someone else’s story. They are being raised with knowledge of this world—both the good and the bad. They are being raised with choice and also consequences of those choices—both good and bad. They are learning to be actively engaged worldly citizens.
They are being raised to care. They are being raised to act. They are being raised to spread the love.
So please, by all means, roll your eyes as you enjoy your coffee and small talk on the sidelines, I am too busy living life to care.
Author: Nikyla Stock
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Katarina Tavčar