Just a few days ago, the house was winding down for the night ... I was finishing up my work, The Mister and my Andrew (the dudes) were already zonked out for the night, the pups all curled up and dozing off ... as my Monica was finishing up her homework and packing up her books into her bag for the next day. She came into my office to share a laugh and to say goodnight. And then she said, "I'm proud of you, mom."
God. Such words.
I've always known that reminding my kids that I'm proud of them is the ultimate, you know? When they were little tykes, even though they would jump up and down for things like balloons and ice cream cones, I knew that no balloon or cone could ever be as significant as either me or The Mister looking them in the eye and saying "I'm proud of you." They are the ultimate words that any kid of any age wants to hear from his or her parents. And every time I say it to them, I know it affects them deeply. There's a component to these words that also becomes a magical self-fulfilling prophesy. I say "I'm proud of you" and they use those words to fuel behaviors that make me proud of them.
But to hear those words spoken the other way ... from child to parent ... I can't explain it. It's as amazing as when you hear it from your parents. It's a validation that you are doing right by the most important people in your life. It's a reminder to keep priorities straight and relationships straight. They are words that both Monica and Andrew give to me occasionally ... and always unexpectedly as they observe and assess my behaviors. The ultimate gift.
My kids. They're proud of me. And like a bird, I fly.