As a parent there is constantly this little voice in the back of my head reminding me of how I fall short. I don't spend enough time with my daughter, I got angry to quickly, and the list goes on and on.
The world would like to constantly remind me of things I don't do well either. The people at the store who have told me her feet are cold and she needs socks on, now to get that fit to stop and so on and so on. And then there are the friends and family members who just watch you and you can feel it. They stare holes through you and let you know that whatever you are doing they don't exactly approve of. (I won't even go into the parenting books and magazines who tell you if you don't use this method that your child will be scarred for life).
It takes me a lot of self talk (reminding myself of the things I'm doing okay at), as well as constant reminders from my husband that I'm a good mom. I also hear it a lot from doctor's and her therapist. It helps balance things out when I feel like I'm not doing so well.
But then, every now and then I see it in Abigail. I hear her say something, or watch her pretending, and I'll see myself in her and realize I might be doing all right. Yesterday was one of those days.
Abigail and I were on our way to pick up her new afo's (she outgrew her others). We were at a stoplight and the person in front of me started to go and then slammed on their brakes. I had to do the same...but I wasn't quite fast enough. I rear ended them. It wasn't a hard hit, or a bad one.
I don't know if I said anything out loud or not. But from the backseat I hear a sweet little voice say, "Mama bumped car. It's okay Mama, twy again."
It made me smile and giggle and a little too. All of the stress I felt at that moment sort of left, and I was reminded that my reaction to the situation was being watched and absorbed by two little eyes. So I explained that Mama had bumped a car, and that we had to wait for a police officer to come and talk to us and then we would go to our appointment.
In a moment of high anxiety and stress for adults, my little girl knew that I might just need a little encouragement. Perhaps it was just the first thought that came to her mind. But maybe, just maybe, she learned from her Papa and I the skill of encouraging someone else who might need it.