Proud of this girl today.
No, she didn’t win. She didn’t even place high enough to move her to the next level. In fact, I would say most races, she is solidly near the back of all the runners.
But so what?
I’m proud of her because she forges ahead. I’m proud of her because she does her best. I’m proud of her because she conquers her fears every race. I’m proud of her because the first thing I see after she crosses the finish line is a smile. I’m proud of her because, after not making it last year, she tried out again. She puts in the work (even racing when she was sick), she’s supportive of her friends on the team (this is the kid who, instead of enjoying a particularly good race for her, felt bad about beating a teammate in the home stretch sprint), and did I mention the smiling?
I’m proud of her, period, every day. So many social media posts are centered around our children’s achievements – grades, honors, ribbons, touchdowns, goals – successes measurable on paper. Don’t get me wrong, those are all reasons to be proud. We as parents WANT to see our children succeed and excel, of course we do. And we want to share that with family and friends, and yes, sometimes our own competitors (haha, the ugly side of social media).
I’m guilty too. And although I’m super proud of my kids in those moments, it’s what my children do to get there that makes me even prouder than any hat trick or touchdown or scholastic award or first place finish ever could. I want my kids to know I think they’re amazing for the times they excel, but I want them to also know that I think they’re amazing even when, or because, they don’t. That is something I think we as parents sometimes forget. Basking in the glory of our children’s achievements is awfully seductive sometimes. Celebrating the times they fall short is much harder to do, but oh so important. Today, she crossed the finish line in tears. But it wasn't for lack of trying and it was her most amazing race, and therein lies her victory.
So here, little Meems. I am so proud of you today. You ran with heart and you gave it your all and you went outside your comfort zone to be amazing. Who cares where you finished? You did your best and you’ll never regret that. I think you are amazing. And I am so very proud to be your mom. Keep at it girl. Keep giving your all and you will do amazing things. I just know it.