Thursday, May 11, 2017

On Embracing My Kids And Being Their Cheerleader

Aiden, 2.5 years
When Aiden was in daycare, everyday at pick-up, he’d see me, get excited, and run a full lap around the 2’s room.

Everyday. Without fail.

He was so excited to see me, to be reunited, that he’d run a full lap and then run up to me and give me a hug.

At first I’d cringe and scold him. I’d tell him to “Walk, be calm, don’t run” because, well… I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was okay with him running indoors or being rowdy. And I didn’t want anyone to think he didn’t have any “brought-upsy,” so to speak.

So I cringed. And I scolded.

He was excited and I was embarrassed. And I was scolding him to stop being so... excited

Let that sink in for a minute.

But luckily for my kid (and for me!), he’s pretty freakin’ resilient and kept at it. Everyday at pick-up, he’d see me, get excited, run a lap around the room, and embrace me with a hug. Every single day. Despite the fact that I scolded him about it just the day before.

One day something “clicked” and I decided that I’d just not give an eff about what folks thought about that situation anymore. On my way to the daycare, I told myself that I’d see my baby and cheer him the eff on as he got excited, ran that lap around the room, and embraced me with a hug.

It was the best hug ever.

Every day since then, I validated his emotions and matched his excitement. And daycare pick-up became one of my favorite moments of the day.

August, 1.5 years
Fast forward eight years and August does the exact same thing. Everyday at daycare pick-up, my little guy sees Aiden and me, gets excited, starts clapping his hands and banging on the wall, and zooms up to us as fast as he can.

All while Aiden and I cheer him on.

Even when the teachers tell him to “be more gentle” or to “calm down,” Aiden and I hype him up and cheer him on.

Because sometimes you just have to embrace the kids that you have and be their number one cheerleader no matter what anyone thinks or says.

Thank goodness I learned that lesson eight years ago. 

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