Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
Monday. Eloise bows before us holding her violin in proper rest position. We clap. We wait. Silence. She plays. She plays her Minuet like I’ve never heard her play before.
She ends. She bows. We clap.(Maybe I cry a little). She returns to her seat next to her 7 year old sister, and I hear Esther whisper “Eloise, you were amazing like the best I’ve ever heard you. Like you are really, really good.” (Maybe I cry a little more).
Esther has been trying to flip over the swing-set rings for two years. This Spring she’s been in tears more than usual about it. Esther kicks up. Nothing. Esther kicks up again. Misses. Esther kicks up again and again. She’s kicked-up hundreds of times and again her feet come short of the bar.
Thursday. Esther kicks again. Misses. Tears. Kicks once again. Her foot grabs behind the bar. She is upside down. I miss it. I’m inside cooking dinner. The backdoor swings wide open. Eloise runs inside yelling “MOM, Esther did it – SHE DID IT! MOM come quick – Esther is upside down RIGHT NOW!” I run out just as Esther is kicking her legs back to the ground. (Maybe I cry a little). Esther is now standing back on the ground just as Eloise runs and hugs her and says “Esther YOU DID IT YOU DID IT! I knew you would do it!” (Maybe I cry a little bit more).
Saturday. The big girls are taking up the whole living room as they practice for their upcoming dance recitals. Little Astrid sits and watches and claps. Pretty soon Astrid is dancing too. Spins and kicks and shuffle hop steps. Heel toe. Heel toe. Eventually Astrid asks her big sisters to sit down and commands(yeah, she’s two) to play some music. Astrid performs a near perfect rendition of her 9 year old’s sister recital piece. The music stops. She curtsies.(Maybe I cry a little). Her sisters rush her and nearly tackle her with “Astrid you were so good. You are so amazing. We are so proud of you!” (Maybe I cry a bit more).
Watching my children celebrate each other is one of the biggest joys of my parenthood journey. Watching my children support each other through the tough times is even a bigger joy.
Teaching my children to be present for one another is a lesson of humility, courage, strength, and love. And it’s a lesson that needs to be taught at home. How can we expect our children to be present for their neighbors, community, friends, and strangers if we don’t expect them to celebrate and cry with their family.
Yes, we will be proud to win and to do our best each time. Not everyone can win a blue ribbon – but we will celebrate the person who did(when more times than not – it is not us) ..just like we will celebrate every person that tried. We will congratulate others and offer our warm embrace to those who need it.
We will celebrate the smallest of victories and we will try new things even when we know we might be awful at it. Like singing. I’m really bad at singing.
We will laugh at ourselves(and even at our mothers – well especially I know they will laugh at me) because people are funny. Thank goodness.
Sunday. Three in a row on the couch. Big, medium, little. Heads together. Sharing one blanket.(Maybe I cry a little). The occasional kiss of a head. A little giggle at a joke. A head now on a shoulder.
I watch them for a moment. Maybe two. I turn quietly as not to disturb and leave the room with reassurance that no matter what – they will be together for each other. (Maybe I cry a little more).
This post was written, well foremost from my heart, but also as my contest entry to win a a full sponsorship to the Type-A Parent Conference from Brica. Brica’s Motto is ‘Making Together Better’ and you can find Brica on both Facebook and Twitter.