This motherhood thing is tough work. Work that I signed up for, but tough all the same. Especially when you’re trying to raise really awesome children, that are confident, happy, loved and love…when you have no real clue how to do that. When you lowkey feel like you’re impersonating an adult. And when you highkey don’t feel like any of those things yourself.
I suppose anyone could feel this way, at any age, at any stage in life. But, for me, as I’m going through a period of self discovery…it feels uniquely tricky. Still though, I do my best. I teach my children what I know and what I’m learning. I apologize often for not being the best at all the things and I pray that they feel my sincerity. I pray that I’m doing this right, even though I know there’s really no such thing. Because, truthfully, even if I try my absolute very best, they’ll still probably be better parents than me because…isn’t that the point? To raise little people who will grow up to be better people? Better than you.
Through it all, I keep going. I keep pushing. I keep striving. I keep leading by example. All in hopes they catch the message. In hopes they learn from my triumphs and my mistakes. In hopes they are hearing me, the best little boys can. That’s all you can really do right? Is teach and lead.
But…you can also learn. From who? From them. And sometimes, it’s them who makes you grow up to better people, better than you were before them.
Listen to the babies. They’re our greatest teachers.
I received a glimpse of this truth from my youngest son. I had decided to ask him the questions I saw in this video on Facebook. Asking my kids questions is one of my favorite things to do. There’s so much knowledge inside them, knowledge that we as adults tend to forget. As I figured, Jr’s responses were hilarious and eye opening in all the ways you’d expect from a 4 year old…and in ways you wouldn’t too.
His best friends are “all of us” and his favorite place is “in here” meaning home. He’s scared of spiders and isn’t sure if I’m 17 or 800. His favorite color is red, green, and blue–it’s too big of a task to just choose one. His favorite food is spaghetti, but just the noodles and he also loves pigs (how random). Playing makes him happy and not playing makes him sad. And his favorite movie is Home…seriously, we have watched Home at least 101 times. I’m not even kidding.
From the mouth of babes. But during our questioning, there were two answers that stuck out to me the most. Answers that had me looking at my baby boy like he was wise beyond his years. Because he is. Listen to the babies. They be knowing.
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
Full. Circle. Moment. How beautiful that was to me, his mama who is embarking on this journey of self discovery. Who has been peeling back the layers to figure out who I really am…disappointed that I suppressed that girl so long ago and adamant on empowering my children to be unapologetically themselves in all ways. I was affirmed by my baby boy. At the tender age of 4, he understood that all you need to be when you grow up is yourself. That may seem like such a minor thing to y’all but I’m telling you. This world tries to make you be something you’re not every single day. And for black boys, the noise is LOUD. Hearing that confidence and knowing my boy is miles ahead of me gives me inexplicable joy.
What does love mean?
Excuse me while I wipe away the tears. If you didn’t gather from the beginning of my post…I never feel like I’m doing enough. But if we’re being real, all of this–and I do mean ALL, yes being a little woo woo here–comes down to love. That’s what this whole life thing is about. Love. Showing love, practicing love, giving love, growing in love. It’s all love. The moment my son answered what does love mean with a simple word “You” I realized, that I had been missing the big picture. He reminded me that I’m doing the most important thing. Love. And he can see that love in me. Whaattt. My heart.