Twice this week, I got the opportunity to see my children celebrated by other adults in their lives. We went to my older son’s first-grade conference and got to listen to his teacher gush about him, not only academically but also his kindness, eagerness to learn, attention to others, and love for his teachers. Her genuine love for our son was evident as she spoke. Then, today we went to the second to last flag football practice for my younger son. We watched as the coaches pulled for him to be successful and celebrated with him when he was. There is nothing that makes me more proud and thankful as a parent. In my gratitude, this is what I want to write to these individuals:
Each day or practice, I send my child into your safe space. I open my arms and release them to you even though I truly want to keep them safe with me. I give them a chance to experience the direction and love of another adult. I hope they will grow more through these experiences. I hold my breath and hope for the best. I know I am truly so fortunate that I have yet to be disappointed.
Thank you for being an adult who has shown my child that they can trust people. They have left my safe space, and you have shown them that you are a safe space. With you they can take risks and be picked up when they fail.
Thank you for being an adult who has shown my child how rewarding it is to succeed. You have pushed them hard and celebrated their successes with them. You have recognized their achievements and acknowledged what it took to get there.
Thank you for being an adult where excuses and giving up are not okay. You have seen them make mistakes, get discouraged, and sometimes choose to give less than one hundred percent. You have not let them stay there but have pushed them to expect more from themselves.
Thank you for being an adult who responds when my child looks to you for love or approval. You have hugged them back, shared inside jokes, laughed with them, and genuinely cared for them. They can feel your love and approval, and it helps them to be more themselves.
I didn’t realize how hard it would be to let my kids go to others until I anxiously awaited their return when they were away. The only thing that makes it easier to let my kids spread their wings is to see them do it under the care of other loving adults. I truly cannot express my gratitude for the way you challenge and celebrate my child. Every child deserves the experience of being celebrated by an adult other than their parents. Thank you for helping my child to see how truly special he is. I am forever grateful.
An Appreciative Mother