Friday, March 13, 2009

Such a Gentle Mom

Last night, we were at Olive Garden waiting for our dinner and Hannah needed to poop. You are noticing a theme to my posts now, aren't you? Anyway, I took Hannah to the bathroom and she was in a very independent two-year-old mode. We went into a stall together and she noticed the toilets were sorta low. "Look, Mommy! Hannah-sized!" So she pulled down her pants by herself and actually climbed onto the potty herself and used the wall as a support.

I was aware we were having a very candid discussion about her bathroom experience and imagined our bathroom mates chuckling to themselves. She got down and flushed and then told me there was "more". So she climbed up again. She also asked me what I was doing. I said "I'm just standing here being proud of you because you are such a big girl getting up on the potty by yourself." She flushed multiple times and was a little unsure of pulling her pants up by herself. But I suggested she start pulling them up and I'd help if she got stuck.

It was one of those good Mommy/Daughter interactions. She seemed so old and so tiny at the same time. As we were washing our hands, a lady came out of the stall next to us. She smiled and made eye contact. She said, "You are such a gentle mom." In surprise, I managed a thank you.

But, all the while, I was feeling a little dishonest. Yes, I was being very patient and sweet and gentle in all that she heard. But that was only a snap shot of my day. She hasn't heard me scream at my kids or tell them "not now" a million times while I did something as important as wash a dish while they wanted a hug. I was proud and self-conscious at the same time.

All the same, I was encouraged. We had a nice talk about her 35-year-old daughter and her grandsons and about the bittersweet nature of children getting older. I felt really good about that interaction and inspired by the person she thought I was. The rest of the evening I paid a little closer attention to being "gentle" to both of my children. It's so nice when I can remember to be patient and just enjoy being with them.

May God place more mirrors in the stall next to me and give them the grace to say something. I'll also try to remember to encourage other moms with my words if I see an endearing interaction. They may need encouragement, just like I did. I hope you all have a gentle day with your kids.

1 comment:

Angela (HsvScrapGirl) said...

Regardless if you think you are gentle or not, you are a good mama! I have enjoyed catching up on your posts this morning.