Monday, August 27, 2012

small choices...big impact

"Our job is to prepare our kids for a life beyond us." What an empowering task." Kelle Hampton

Is it the time of year?
Is there a full moon?
A shift of seasons perhaps?

A reoccurring theme keeps coming up in conversations, with coworkers, friends, family, well
seems to be about everyone, whether it's about the first day of kindergarten or dropping your first born off at college......over and over I hear (or I say)
What did I do wrong? 
I don't know what to do.
Did I do enough?
What else can/should I do?
Surely I can do more....

Parenting.......well since it is mostly moms that I run into.....being a mom.
It is rewarding yes,
but no reward comes without effort
and by all means being a mom takes effort...all hands on deck 24 hours a day.

It just so happens that one of by favorite blogs posted similar thoughts today...

"Self reflection is so very much a part of these motherhood moments. I have thought about why this is so hard, what I could have done to make it better. We chose not to do daycare or preschool for Lainey, and I don't regret that decision at all, even though it may have made this transition a little easier. I wonder what things we can do to help smooth out these first few weeks. The thing is, there are a hundred billion ways to raise a child--to nourish them, to teach them to think on their own, to instill confidence, to show them kindness, to challenge them to be respectful, to educate them, to show them the world. And when you choose a way to do these things--a way that fits and feels good for your family and your child--I think it's only natural to wonder if maybe one of the 99,999,999,999 other ways might have worked better."

That last comment got me because even when things are going "good". When things seem to be working..I am always left wondering if one of the 99,999,999,999  ways would have been better.

On one level I know that we are making small decisions every day and that not every "small" decision requires hours of self reflection (and hours on google) but then at the same time I can't help but wonder the impact of all those little decisions over the years and when the times comes will I have laid a foundation for my kids that allows them to step out on their own, define their happiness and create their own lives?  Will they have the skills they need to take on this big ole world with its ups and downs and twists and turns?  Will they be able to separate and prioritize what really matters in life?  It seems a daunting task.

There are days that I am confident that we are brick by brick laying that foundation
and then
there are the other days.......
full of self reflection and well honestly....doubt. 
Days that leaving you pondering those 99,999,999,999 other ways.....

Last week was a pondering week for me and then on the same day I picked up kadence from daycare
there was note:

.......and when I read my emails later that night a note from Cohen's teacher:
 " * He is so helpful at school---holding the door open etc."

"Small" decisions made by "small" children.........
and maybe to some, just "small"notes but not to this mama.
These were Big
These small notes said to this mama, that maybe, just maybe,
along the way some bigger "bricks" of that
foundation are forming...that maybe
just maybe the combination of 26,747,341 and 87,561,292 of the 99,999,999,999 ways
to parent a child, worked in our favor.
Stealing the words of a friend....
Growing up is hard to do...
and I'm not talking about my kids.
.....with all the focus on academic performance I fear we sometimes lose sight of
shaping the "small" notes about the person my child is growing into
are invaluable to me.

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