We have gotten into a pretty steady bedtime routine. We brush teeth, change diapers- (YES plural! One too many pee-in-the beds and we are back to diapers at night for the three-year-old). And then we say prayers together and read scriptures and get the boys to bed. One of us rocks Jonah and one of us tells Jax a story. Jax has been liking McKay's stories lately, so after I get Jonah to sleep and McKay leaves Jax in bed- I jump in there next to him and we cuddle and talk for a couple minutes. I try every night to tell him what made me proud of him that day. A few nights ago, I crawled in bed next to him and I asked him how his day was and I just listened instead of talked. He told me really softly in the dark that his friend told him he didn't know how to do a cartwheel the right way. My mom heart got all heavy and I held him a little tighter and told him it was okay- that cartwheels are hard. I told him all the things he was really good at and I told him we would practice cartwheels. Then I kissed him goodnight and went downstairs to McKay and sat next to him teary on the couch and told him that our little boy felt discouraged and we sat there sad.
Since then, he hasn't mentioned it again. And maybe it's small. We'll work on cartwheels. But I've been thinking about what I want to teach. What I want my kids to know. They can't be the best at everything. I want them to be okay with that. Even as an adult, I struggle with that. But the struggle to end that struggle is a lot easier than the never-ending struggle of always being the best. It really would never end. ever ever ever. And sometimes I feel like the world is getting better at ways of putting comparisons to others right in your face. I grew up hearing the words "self-esteem" a lot. High self-esteem was good, low was bad, blah blah BUT when I got to college, a professor said that we shouldn't esteem ourselves. Interesting thought. Confidence, yes. In my mind, esteeming is sort of parallel with a rank and confidence coincides more with worth. I want my kids to know they have worth. Lots and lots of it. I look at Jax and already know he will be good at so many things. He will be so many things which is even more important. But I never want him to think he has to be the best at everything. It's an impossible standard to live up to. And it's easy to have the false perception that it would even be a right standard. It wouldn't be. I watch my kids and notice every day how different they are. I see something in one that I don't see as much in the other, and vise-versa. I love that about them. I love the traits in each of us that make up my family. I hope my kids grow up not searching for ways to fit a mold. Or be bigger or better than a mold that's already been made. It's easy to get swallowed into that way of thinking. It happens to me lots. Probably every day. But I see that special individuality in my kids and it makes me realize it's in me too.
I love moments of clarity brought to be by my kiddos. Being a mom is the best.