After handing me art paper after art paper with nothing but one lonely crayon scribble, Brady’s (very sweet) preschool teacher said, “He’s not very artistic.” I quickly told her that was fine, that it is perfectly OK he’s not enthusiastically artistic. He is an incredible little boy with a million and one abilities and perhaps art projects aren’t one of them. (Right now at least – who knows what his feelings towards art may later be).
Sometimes Brady likes to wear nail polish. On occasion he asks to wear his Batman mask into a restaurant. Paityn refuses frilly hair bows and wants to wear sneakers with dresses. All of these things are part of who they are and all of them are OK with me.
There will be so many times in life where they will carry that weight. The weight of whether or not to conform. Whether or not people will judge how they look.
Or what they are wearing.
Or how smart they are.
Or how smart they’re not.
Times where they will stand in the mirror and wonder if they should or shouldn’t.
But for God’s sake, I am their mother. The one place in life they should never feel that burden is with me. And I refuse to let them.
I may not be the perfect mother. I may not give them everything they’d like to have or teach them great things, but I will always strive to be their safe place. How can I possibly be a place of solace while also putting guidelines on who they can be? I can’t be one without being the other.
So I’m striving to give them the freedom to be who they are. To provide them with options and suggestions but not force them to complete art projects they don’t want to do or squeeze them into ballerina leotards if they don’t want to. To give an astounding YES to the people they are, because those people are awesome.
Those people are perfect.
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Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.