Being a mother definitely has undoubtedly (redundancy intended) changed me. Before I had you, I honestly had no idea how to raise a child. Seven years later and I am still learning a lot.
Every day, my sweetheart, is an adventure, and for the last 17 months, I have had the pleasure (most of the times, if you know what I mean) to watch you turn into a lovely, bubbly young girl.
Every day, my darling, you make life a little bit more bearable, a little bit more beautiful and a little bit more worth all the struggles and sacrifices I had made (I apologize, but I cannot say uncomplainingly).
Every day, my love, I wake up beside you and feel grateful for having you in my life. You have given me strength, on days when I feel like staying in bed all day, you make me get up (literally so we can play this or we can watch that).
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
1. How you smile at me admiringly. Like other children, you are innocent. You know nothing about pretending you are someone you’re not (except when role playing) or playing games (the kind adults are into) or telling intricate lies and breaking promises. When you smile at me, my heart melts. You make me feel, like you always tell me, like I am the best mother in the world. You have a genuine smile that I think you got from me.
2. How you talk to me animatedly. When you grow older, you will know how talkative your mother is. It amazes me how you are, too. Shall we see who is more then? I do not think, however, that you got my sense of humor. We have got to work on that, remember how I taught you about a little bit of sarcasm? Let us watch FRIENDS some more.
3. How you hug me tightly. One of the classic ways of showing affection, I feel loads better when you put your tiny little arms around me. When we were separated for a while, it felt so nice when you embraced me for at least 5 full minutes! I am sorry if sometimes I squeeze you a little too hard. I am a touchy-feely.
4. How you laugh with me loudly. It has always been my favorite thing to do. I can go for several hours at a time! I cannot wait to do this with you when you are older and maybe reminisce about the past!
5. How you cry with me enthusiastically. I give as much passion in crying as in laughing. There is a special bond between us, we feel what the other is feeling (or in some cases, could not be more obvious). I remember a year ago when I would suddenly burst into tears and you would cry, too. I believe it was healthy for you to see me suffer after the break up. More than the knowledge that sometimes adult romantic relationships do not always work, I hope you remember how your mother has struggled (still is to be honest) and got through the most difficult time of her life.
6. How you correct me nicely. You made me laugh the other day when you said, “Mommy it is bothered, not bother” (on proper use of a verb’s tense). I will also not forget The One Where Sophia Asked Mommy To Raise Her Better. I have been working on this (10 Irrational Reasons To Live In Fear Of Disapproval Or Criticism) myself and I am so glad you started early. I can just see you as an adult, maturely talking about issues with the people around you in an engaging manner, seeking first to understand.
7. How you hold my hand warmly. Whether you are glad or scared or we are crossing a busy street or watching a movie side by side on the bed, you tug at my heart when you put your hand in mine. I promise I will always be here for you.
8. How you snuggle beside me cozily. Ever since you were a baby, you move a lot when you sleep. I cannot count how many times I have woken up with a foot on my face, or an arm on my neck, sometimes I have not even gone to bed yet and you were already upside down! I do not mind, Sophia. It warms my heart when I feel you cuddling up to me in the middle of the night. You can always wake me up when you cannot sleep or when you have bad dreams.
9. How you kiss me lovingly. I love how we have developed our morning habit ( The One With The Morning Affirmations (And The Chain Message) ) of telling each other we love ourselves and the other and sealing our affirmations with a smooch! I enjoy air-kissing with you, too. When we are at the opposite sides of a room and we catch each other’s eyes and pucker our lips up.
10. How you make me want to be a better person. This blog is all about me wanting to become the best version of myself. Of all the things you can emulate from me, I hope this is one of them. Like I always tell you, Anak, it is ok to make mistakes and it is never too late to change for the better.
I often hear people say a child is a reflection of his or her parent/s. In the past, I wondered if a person’s character is indeed, inherited. I have recently learned that it is more nurture than nature.
Neuroplasticity has enormous ramifications for what we do as parents. If repeated experiences actually change the physical architecture of the brain, then it becomes paramount that we be intentional about the experiences we give our children. Think about the ways you interact with your kids. How do you communicate with them? How do you help them reflect on their actions and behavior? What do you teach them about relationships – about respect, trust and effort? What opportunities do you expose them to? What important people do you introduce into their lives? Everything they see, hear, feel, touch, or even smell impacts their brain and thus influences the way they view and interact with their world – including their family, neighbors, strangers, friends, classmates, and even themselves.Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PH. D: No – Drama Discipline
Some people say Sophia is my mini-me, but I honestly do not see it sometimes. Thinking about it now, more than the physical aspects, for better or worse, she is becoming more and more like me everyday. I look at her and I see myself when I was her age and her as a 36 year old (tons) better version of me. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but the fact that I am trying is good enough for me. I feel like maybe, I am not a bad mother, after all.
When you look at your child, are you proud at the kind of person he or she has become?