What do your children think of you? I don’t often think of what kind of “legacy” I’m leaving, but one of the most important things I know I leave behind in this world someday when I’m gone is what kind of people my children are.
While I may not dwell on it daily, it is likely a motivating factor for much of the way I parent. What life skills do they need to have forever? What ways can I best benefit them? When I’m long gone, what will they remember me for?
At ages 4 and 6, that is sometimes hard to gauge, but I have a fairly vocal and thoughtful son so I know what he thinks most of the time as he thinks it. I’m not sure my daughter is old enough to think of it at all, but on Mother’s Day I was given a great description of exactly what my son thinks of his mommy.
My son, in what he calls his third attempt at being a “self-published author” wrote a book at school for my Mother’s Day gift.
Each page started out with a nudge from his teacher. She gave the students a writing paper with phrases like “My mom is beautiful because…” and “My mom and I…” to get their creative juices flowing.
I had two favorite pages, which kind of wrapped up my son’s perspective in a nutshell.
“My mom is good at cooking,” wrote my son. (Yes, I’m so glad I have him fooled.) “She can make anything taste good. For example, soggy [chicken] nuggets: she makes them taste good.”
I love his devotion. I love a child’s blind love. I love that my son thinks pushing a button on a microwave and heating him up frozen chicken nuggets makes me “a good cook.” I love that.
I got some of his thoughts on my “talents” outside of the kitchen, too. On another favorite page, I loved his views on my work ethic:
“My mom is special because everything. Like her getting in charge. And her cooking scratch meatballs. Yum!”
Sure, every mom in the country probably got some combination of nice, heart-felt and homemade gifts from their youngsters. I’m not the first mom to get a sweet card, and I won’t be the last.
But, something in my son’s writing made me feel good. It made me realize what he truly thinks of his mom. And, at least for now, he thinks I’m doing a pretty decent job. And, that is all that really matters to me.
I couldn’t have thought of a better Mother’s Day gift.