Five minutes. To write. To silence the inner critic. To build community.
It was so easy to be a cheerleader for my kids when they were little. Every little accomplishment, every little milestone, they deserved to be applauded. And it gave them the confidence to keep pushing, to keep moving, to keep growing.
But when did it become easier to criticize than encourage? This thought puzzles me constantly. Why do I, their biggest fan, find myself picking on the things they do wrong instead of applauding the things they do right?
I’m working on this, this cheering for my kids. Most days I can do it effortlessly.
But then the quarreling gets the better of me. Or the messes. Or the pushing back as they try to expand their boundaries just one more inch.
Yesterday I was telling my husband how I think I may have finally gotten over the hump of acknowledging how much closer our teenager is to being an adult. That it’s finally starting to feel just a bit easier to give her the freedom to blossom. And I find that in my shift of attitude, I can encourage her more freely.
I can applaud her accomplishments that aren’t so little, cheer her through her milestones even as I grieve knowing that each one takes her a little further from me. I can let her know I believe in her and she believes me. There once was a day where I know she didn’t, where she thought I only saw the negatives.
I want her, I want all of our kids, to have the confidence to keep pushing, to keep moving, to keep growing.
Because I really am their biggest fan.