This past weekend Sophie gave me a card she made. She colored the front and back purple (my favorite color), and on the inside drew a big heart. She wrote one sentence, which she sounded out and spelled herself. It read, “You R the momy I love.”
Sophie told me she wanted to write a much longer sentence, but that was all she could manage. I hugged her, cried, and told her it was beautiful and made me feel so very special.
One of my favorite childhood television shows was Little House on the Prairie. In fact, it’s still one of my favorite series. There was an episode called “Country Girls” that told the story of Laura and Mary’s first weeks at school. Laura was just learning to read and write. On the School Visitor’s Day, the kids were asked to recite an essay they wrote. Laura recited a beautiful tribute to her Ma. But when Ma looked at Laura’s essay, she found only these words:
Ma is good.
She works hard.
Laura told Ma that all those words she said were in her heart and they were exactly what she would have written if she knew how to spell them. That episode always tugs at my heartstrings. And when Sophie gave me that little note — just like Ma — I was moved to tears and couldn’t have been more proud of my little girl.
There are moments when I feel — as a mother — I’m not doing anything right. I struggle with how to make sure I’m loving, upbeat and happy with Sophie, while also balancing that with enforcing boundaries, assuring I’m not being walked over, and keeping my own personal stresses at bay. It’s hard. Sometimes it feels overwhelming and that I’m failing.
But then I have moments such as the one where Sophie wrote those heartfelt words on paper. Or when she told me her favorite part of her birthday party was watching me sing to her and cut the cake. And then later seeing a photo of Sophie and I looking at each other — seeing the joy in both of our eyes — as we sing “Happy Birthday.”
Those are the moments I hold in my heart. The moments that make all the self-doubts disappear and I realize I must be doing something right. Those are the moments of motherhood I treasure.
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