I’m just now recovering from hosting the Happily Family Conference last week.
And yet, I think I will never be quite the same… this past conference changed me.
Did it change you too?
As a mom–inspired by so many speakers who talked about finding strengths, super powers, hidden gems, or gifts–I started looking at my kids differently.
My kids are not always easy kids. I’m not always a great mom to them.
But I’ve started to reframe things.
You see, my usual way of being with my kids is that I worry, I see things I want to “work on” in them, and I try to get things done.
I don’t pay attention to the “A’s” and “B’s” in the progress report, but get laser focused on the “D”.
I take little time to notice all the things that our kids do well, only to see the things that they could do better….
But since the conference, I’ve been different.
I’ve been looking for and identifying their gifts rather than just worrying about their so-called flaws.
Here is a page from my journal… a letter I wrote to my daughter about the gifts that I see in her.
Maybe it will be helpful for you too, on your parenting journey.
I think you’ll especially relate to this if you have a child who is more ____ [active, sensitive, persistent, passionate, etc.] than other kids.
Can you relate to this?
A few days ago you said something that made me really think… you said, “Mom, you believe things about me that aren’t true”.
Have I created a story in my head? Is it blinding me from seeing who you truly are?
I do have a story about you.
I see you as my “muy” daughter.
Muy means “very” in Spanish.
You are my muy daughter because you are very everything.
You are muy artistic… You see the beads of water on the windshield, a leaf covered in frost, the color in someone’s eyes. You paint. You draw. You doodle. You see things that I don’t even notice.
You are muy passionate… You care deeply about lots of things… your “crush”, your family, and your friends. You make sure they are safe and cared for.
You are muy empathetic… You feel your emotions deeply. You feel other people’s emotions too. When others are hurt; you hurt. I wonder if you feel the emotions of the others so deeply, that you sometimes don’t know what to do about it.
You are muy persistent… You hold your ground. You don’t let others boss you around. Some people might not appreciate your leadership style, but it’s effective. You see a problem and you know how to fix it, you don’t entertain idleness or incompetence.
You are muy decisive… You know what you want, what movie you like, where you want to eat dinner, what you will, and will not, do. And yet, you sometimes give up so others can have what they want too.
You are muy inspired… to read a good book, delve into a TV series, or to decorate your bedroom at 2 at night.
You are muy sensitive… to spicy foods, to soft sweatshirts, to the smell of my hair, or the popcorn scent on your friend’s shoulder.
You are muy thoughtful… you think about other people, you imagine what it would be like to have someone else’s life. Even when someone hurts you, you often think about what they are feeling.
You are muy liked… you have friends in all different social groups, a mosaic of people enjoy being with you. You seem to be able to get almost any boy in the school to like you.
You are muy loud… (especially with your friends) you like your music loud, you laugh loudly, and express yourself loudly as if to say, “World, look at me now!”
You are muy cuddly… You like hugs, piggy-back rides, snuggles and sitting on someone’s lap.
You are muy athletic… You are strong when you arm wrestle me. When you were little you had calluses from the monkey bars and 6-pack abs. You move grace and coordination even though you’ve never taken sports or dance class.
You are muy intelligent… your teacher said that he’d never taught someone who was naturally so fluent in math. You understand complicated words that you’ve only seen in books, and you use them appropriately in conversations. You remember. You connect things.
This is my story of who you are. You are my muy daughter. This is the story I hold of you in my head.
Does it blind me from seeing you? Maybe.
Maybe you are also blind to seeing these things in yourself.
I hope I am your mirror. To reflect your goodness back to you.
I’m not sure you see your goodness the way I do.
It is a great gift to be so muy.
And it is also tiresome. I know.
Maybe your muy gets misunderstood. Maybe you push it down, lock it up, and shove it away.
Sometimes people confuse muy with too.
And yet, your muy is your superpower.
Draw strength from it.
Dare I say, love it.
And there is another reason you are muy.
Because in the middle of muy is “u”; the outside is “my”.
So U are surrounded by MY love.
My love for you is deeper than the ocean.
Hotter than the sun.
Wider than the sky.
Softer than kitty fur.
And wherever your muy takes you, my love will be there too, surrounding you.
That is my promise!
I will always love you, my muy daughter, my very daughter.
From your very Mom,
Do you have a muy child too?
Share in the comments below what your child’s superpower is…