As a parent, we tell our children to be brave. And while it makes our children better as they venture off into the big wide world on their own, mostly, this makes US feel better.
We witness grand acts of bravery throughout their lives. Walking. Learning to ride a bike. Going off to school for the first time. Summer camp. New schools. College.
In those moments, we find ourselves being brave too. For our sake and theirs.
And those moments...they're always amazing.
But these are the grand acts, the major events, the big deals.
The other day I put Little Meems in her grandparents' car for a trip to their house for a week. Little Meems is notorious for homesickness, and we have had our share of rescues, including one earlier in the summer when a week with her other grandparents was cut short by too many tears and a general inability to go on.
Girl is dramatic, remember.
As I hugged her, I noticed that she was holding back tears. More like desperately fighting them, while trying to keep a smile on her face. Of course, when I noticed this I grabbed her and asked her if she was OK. She said she was fine but I was really squishing her and it was hot and it was time for me to get out of the car. So I did. Because she knew, and I knew, that if I didn't she wouldn't be able to hold it together, and she was trying so desperately to do so.
It's the little moments of bravery that touch you the most. The ones that catch you off guard. Because they're the moments when you're not thinking about being brave for your children.
They're the moments you realize your children are being brave for you.