It's a wonderful feeling... Seeing the signs that you must be doing something right when raising your children.
From eating their veggies (or green smoothies or what have you) to giving each other hugs and kisses out of nowhere but often enough that it's obvious they love each other despite all their fighting... From Son making sure that Daughter gets a treat whenever he does to Daughter trying to wear Son's shoes so that she's more like her big brother... It's a wonderful thing.
I still warms my heart when I think of the times Son tells me, out of the blue, "I happy, Mommy" or when Daughter screams with glee when she sees me walk through her classroom door. Such an amazing feeling. It also felt great when Hubby said that he can see the results of what I've been trying to teach them and that I'm doing a great job. It's always nice to have other people notice because it further proves to me that I'm not "just seeing it".
There are so many times that it seems Hubby and I handle our kids differently than other parents. I've mentioned a few of the ways on this blog before, but today showed even a few more examples, at least in how I am. It's unusual for a grown woman to walk around with bunny ears that stand a foot high off her head (or cat ears or so on), but it makes the kids happy, so why not?
So many parents don't really interact with their kids. They take their kids to events, or the park, or to parties... and they don't pay much attention to them. It's no wonder that other kids will cling to us or look at Hubby and I with this odd mix of longing and confusion. It must seem so strange to see parents actually PLAYING at the playground! To see a child tell his/her parent to try some part of the "jungle gym" and the parent actually happily complies and seems to enjoy it! It just bothers me to see parents not being involved on such a high scale nowadays. Sorry, but simply taking you child to the playground doesn't count as spending time with them if you aren't actively participating (when the kids actually want you to!).
My kids don't get everything they want, there's no way we can afford it, though I'm not opposed to getting them special items or treats here and there. They hear "no" often enough, but they also know they are extremely loved and that we will consider their wants. And we try to keep our word as much as we can. (If I say Son can have a candy with his breakfast, Hubby will follow through on that promise. If Hubby tells him that he can dress like Batman after daycare, I will be prepared to dress him in his Batman costume once he gets home if he still wants to.) How can you teach your child integrity if you don't set the example? Actually, how can you teach your child any of the traits to become a good person if you don't "walk the walk"?
And with that in mind, this also applies to being healthy and taking care of one self, which is one of the reasons I try to make sure the kids see me eating and drinking healthy items (and trying different things), and also why it's so important for them to see me being active.
When I got ready to do my workout tonight, Son was playing a Star Wars video game that Hubby set up for him (and was helping him with). Hubby and I cleared the living room of the toys that were scatter on the floor and got my workout video and weights in place. We told Son that I was getting ready to do my Super Hero Workout, and I could see he was debating if he wanted to continue playing his game or to join me in my exercises. Guess which he ended up choosing...
As my DVD started (before I was really ready), Son started doing some of the exercises while sitting at the computer keyboard (he knew what they were without even seeing the DVD!). I asked him if he just wanted to join me and he nodded, got up, prepped himself with his super hero gear and weights, and then joined me... kind of. He's getting better about the moves, but mostly, he just likes trying to play around me as I do my moves. Eventually, he saw Hubby playing Angry Birds in the dining room and joined in that game. But how cool is it that he originally chose to workout with me over playing the computer game!
So, in line with my "Super Mommy?" entry, perhaps we shouldn't just see ourselves as raising children to be functional or even goodly adults. Perhaps we should nurture the Super Hero in them, while still teaching them that most super heroes are human. That you don't have to have super strength or a green power ring or the ability to sling webs out of your hands in order to be an amazing person and live up to their potential. That they can achieve the impossible as long as they believe in themselves, but that they can do it without losing their humanity.
That thought... it just makes me smile. :-)