It’s been a busy few weeks for my Explorer as his first year of school comes to an end. He’s impressed me incredibly this year – with the independent little person he’s become, with how lovingly and sensitively he’s made friends, with how much he’s learned and grown …
Last week he performed in his first-ever talent show, and I watched the shy little guy who used to hide behind me on the sidelines at birthday parties get up in front of his entire school and put his heart into a hula hoop routine he’d been practicing for weeks. He was brilliant! And he was so proud. He was proud of himself and it radiated. My heart was just bursting and my eyes were full of happy tears while I laughed and smiled like crazy, watching him on stage, so content and confident in who he is. The video I took of his performance is shaky – I couldn’t stop my hands from trembling – with excitement, with pride, with joy for this little person I had helped bring into the world.
Today I stood in the back of the room again while he won an award. My wild Explorer was presented with an award for outstanding citizenship. And again, he was so proud of himself. And again, I was so proud of him. There weren’t that many awards presented to the kindergarteners – attendance, citizenship and reading log completion (and given that he was out of school for quite a few sick days and that I have forgotten to turn in about 40% of his reading logs – citizenship was really the only category in which he had any chance at all!).
I know that the world around him may not always celebrate him. He’ll have times in his life where others will make him feel inadequate or inferior. He’ll endure criticism. He’ll endure hardships. He’ll inevitably experience failure and self-doubt. And my heart breaks in my chest so often for all the cruelty and callousness and cold in the world that he has yet to encounter.
So in those moments where he’s celebrated, when his face lights up with pride and confidence and the knowledge of his own precious worth is radiant on his face – I’m overjoyed. I want him to carry that glow with him throughout his life, through all that will come; so that, while the world may try to break him, he’ll stand just as proud, just as solid, just as strong as when he had an auditorium full of his friends, family and classmates cheering him on.
I want to see him be proud, proud of who he is, of how he was created, of his purpose, his uniqueness, his strengths and his abilities. I want to see him be secure in all that he is and all he can do. I want to see that expression of loving himself for exactly who he is on his face throughout all his life – and I want him to know that I am one proud mommy, cheering wildly for him every step of the way!