Appreciation Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

I don’t know about you, but as a mother I rarely feel appreciated. I spend my days driving my kids to school when they tell me the bus is too cold to stay on for the 30 minute  ride. I will drive back, the seven miles, on the same day when I receive a call at 2 pm that there’s a band meeting scheduled at the last moment and we don’t have a late bus for them to take home.  This will also be the day there is an orthodontist appointment so now I’ve driven to the school three times, four if you count the fact I had to return the child to school after his appointment. When I drop everything for my children I’m sacrificing something of my own. Usually yoga which keeps me nice so I want to continue playing chauffeur in sub zero weather and not want to shove snow down your shirt.

I’m not unique. I’m just a mom and  I survive on hugs and proud moments my kids don’t know I’m watching. You grow a thick skin when you become a mother. It actually prepared me for all the rejections I received while pitching my book.

The other day something magical happened. (No, not with the kids, but stick with me.) I stopped to get gas and the attendant asked me if I wanted my windshield cleaned. That’s magical all by itself because usually the attendant just grunts at you when he hands back your credit card. But this guy didn’t just clean the windshield. He cleaned all the windows and I have a SUV.

I never tipped anyone for washing my windshield before, but  I did this time. And in his attempt to thank me, there was a language barrier there, he went back and wiped down the frames of all the windows. He felt appreciated and so did I.

Was it the unprompted “thank you for driving me all over the planet so I can fit into society, have straight teeth, and some day the  job of my dreams” from one of my children? Was it “I’d love to help you shovel the snow because you bought me the sneakers I wanted” without eye roll? Not exactly.

I will continue to sacrifice yoga to drive my kids where they need to go. I’ll give up my writing time to help search for reliable sources for that science paper. I will remember that appreciation comes in all shapes and sizes. And when I’m not looking one of the young people that live in my house will clean my windows without asking and I’ll know all is right with the world.

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2 thoughts on “Appreciation Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

  1. Nice when outsiders do something that makes us feel we’re actually noticed in the world, lol.

    As per kids and appreciation, sometimes it takes them being old enough to understand/feel empathy that someone else is giving something up. Occasionally, I mention some way or other I took time out of my day for them. But: I do that ONLY when I feel one might be thinking he’s “entitled” to what I’ve done.

    So far, with teens, I’m seeing empathy starting to kick in. And I’m also thinking it’s not b/c of something I’ve said (i.e., telling), but more due to actions they’ve witnessed (i.e., showing) on the part of their dad and/or me.

    So did any of this make sense?

  2. I have often reminded my children of what I have to sacrifice in order for them to have what they want. I can’t promise I do it in such a way they won’t end up on the therapist’s couch. But, hey, a little therapy won’t hurt anyone and they do have an Italian mother after all. All Italian mothers raise children who need therapy. It’s in the contract or the spaghetti sauce! LOL!

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