Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Hearts of My Matter- Charlotte

Before the end of the school year Charlotte and I took our little commuter car to school. In this car we are in such close quarters that we are able to momentarily hold hands at stop lights, and unlike our much loved mini van,  one does not have to speak loudly to be heard. On this day we were stopped in a construction zone for quite awhile. A few minutes in to our delay Charlotte asked for my hand. This tugged at my heart, and so I asked her a question that I usually reserve for bed time, "Charlotte," I said, "do you know how loved you are?" She usually responds with a smile and then I list every person in our life who loves this little girl, ending with her Dad and I.  This time however, Charlotte took the reins and asked me, "Mama do you know how loved you are?" She began her list before I could respond,  "Daddy loves you, and Maxie, and Willa, Nana, Papa and the YaYas love you, Grandpa and Grandma too."  I was speechless, completely over whelmed by Charlotte's beautiful little spirit, by her tiny hand in mine.  Just as those words comfort her at bed time, they provided comfort to me.

I set out on this parenting journey with few goals in mind.  I want my children to be happy, loving and kind.  I want them to be giving and to nurture those around them.  I believe that each one of them came with all of these attributes and that it is my job to continue to help grow them.  That day, sitting in the car waiting to be let by, I got to experience those traits in Charlotte.  This six year old little person of mine is constantly and unintentionally reminding me that my babies will model my behavior.  They do it now, and they will continue to do it in the future whether they are are aware of it or not.  Recently Charlotte became fond of using my face lotion.  As I am putting it on myself she asks for some of it in her hand, then she carefully and meticulously applied it, just as I do.  A few days into adopting my ritual she said to me, " I am doing it just like you."  My response was a nod and a smile, but it led to much more thinking.

She is watching me.  She is watching me love, watching my anger, watching my forgiveness and my compassion. This realization is both terrifying and empowering at the same time.   The beauty of this is that I get to choose my reactions, my behavior.  Throughout my life I will fail in this regard and sometimes I will succeed. Some of the behavior that I have modeled for them will be benign, and yet followed none the less, as in my preferred method of lotion application.  Some will not, as in using ones sassiness and wit against their Nana (sorry Mom). My hope and prayer is that more often than not, it will be used to take someone's hand and remind them that they are loved.