I would say I am a good mom. I am sensitive, understanding and empathetic to the little worlds I help navigate through tough life happenings like Alex’s epilepsy. My husband and I agree that feeding, clothing and sheltering a child is what you’re supposed to do, so you shouldn’t get a pat on the back for it. It’s in those intangible areas that we are called to measure, for lack of a better word, our Supermomness (good luck finding that word in the dictionary).
“Mommy, what does One in a, in a, M-m-muh-million, One in a Million, mean?”
“Look, either you get the card or not, I’m not here to explain cards to you”
I was kneeling on the floor, staring blankly, pretending to be engrossed in a Hallmark card and listening. The little girl couldn’t have been more than 7 years old. I can’t give a physical description of her, because I never looked at her, even though we were at eye level with one another. She struggled to say One in a Million as she read the cover of the card, and you could tell she was proud she could enunciate the consonants and vowels to create a word she’d recognized in conversations.
I grabbed a card and walked away, my face hot and my eyes blurry. As I turned away, I immediately thought of a response to the mother “Why didn’t you say she was one in a million?! That’s easy, she’s right there and there’s no one else like her in the world!” Then I reminded myself of what my husband always tries to impress upon me when I feel too much: you can’t parent everyone and you can’t tell parents how to either. But I thought of the ripples of damage done to the thin little soul forming within this girl and I prayed for her. I prayed for her mother, too. To one day see that those brash moments, quick and seemingly small, as compared to the other events of the day or life, are like a pea under an otherwise soft place for her daughter to sleep.
My supermomness, comes in these moments, I think. In little questions and whispered answers. In the listening of my children and not waving away what they find important. Of seeing with their eyes, all that they wonder about, all that they fear and giggle with glee over. Granted, if I hear about Pokemon and Beyblades more than 5 times a day, they get that Mommy is saturated with boy stuff and talk to me of glitter and cupcakes.
Their worlds are little to us, but if you’re at eye level with them, you’ll see it’s enormous to them. Help them to build their worlds and you’ll always have supermom status.