June 27, 2010

Smile Steps....The Journey of Life

First Steps....

Audrey is nine months. I missed these MONTHS with Lara. I missed these moments. My heart will always ache. However Today I was here and she reached out for me. She looked at me for guidance and safety as she took her first 'steps' out into the world. I was there with a smile on my face, a tear in my eye and another tiny ache in my heart.
She is becoming mobile and about to discover more of what this world has to offer. As she does I will need to let go a little. I will be right here watching, but a little further away each day.


Growing Up....
Erin is 5 years old. She is losing teeth, getting taller, taking MORE steps. As she begins to read well, a whole NEW world will open up to her. A world of learning and possibilities, of discoveries and imagination. She will hear and read about things and I will be right there with her. My ears will listen, my hand outstretched and my shoulder ready for her tears. I will need to let go a little more.

I did not TEACH Audrey to walk. I encouraged. I supported. I modeled the behaviour. I provided a safe learning environment. I held her hands at first. I was there to pick her up when she fell. I waited. When she was ready and felt safe enough she took that first step....and I was right there to see it and celebrate with her.
I did not TEACH Erin to read. Instead I encouraged. I supported. I modeled the behaviour. I provided a safe learning environment. I guided her through the steps. I was there to help when needed. I waited. When she was ready and felt safe enough she read her first word...and I was right there to hear it and celebrate with her.
And so it continues. I am glad to be here. I am grateful for the opportunities I have to be a part of their journey. I am excited to celebrate ALL my children's achievements with them. It is my job as a parent to encourage and guide while setting the example and model the behavior.
Ultimately though it is THEIR journey. THEIR steps and it will be THEM that chose the directions they go.
Each time I will be there. At first by their side with a helping hand, and then a shoulder to cry on. One day I may only be able to offer a listening ear on the other end of the telephone. But I will be there. I promise to set the example and model the behaviour. I promise to always be there as long as they allow me to be.
And each time my face will smile, the tears will fall and heart will continue to feel that tiny ache as I let go a little more.

2 comments:

The Kerr Family said...

It's tough, isn't it, this whole parenting thing about raising adults instead of children (i.e. w/ the idea that they will one day go out on their own with the skills you've taught them and live their own lives, making their own decisions). Just curious why you seem to think 'teach' is a negative thing. Is it b/c it's so linked with formal education for you? A huge part of teaching is modeling things, guiding, sharing our knowledge. Parents are their kids first and most important teachers and I think that should be celebrated.

Dad said...

I'm glad I was there in your place when Lara took her first steps.