And babysitters, caregivers, and everyone else who takes care of my kids when I’m not around:
Thank you. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for coming up with new and different ways for them to see and experience the world. Thank you for freeze-dancing and fire-safety training, field trips and silly songs. Thank you for helping them learn and grow and become.
I appreciate you. Truly, truly I do.
I have something to ask of you as well. I know they are a challenge – I am with them the other 16 hours of the day that you are not. I know they are strong-willed and capricious. I know they are stubborn and argumentative. I know they make wrong choices, and don’t always pay attention.
I know they can be exhausting. I know.
So, I beg you – please. Please, please – tell me what they are doing right. There must be something. Anything. Share with me their successes. Tell me of their triumphs. I know the endless write-ups and time-outs and infractions are what’s top of mind at the end of their time with you, but it can’t be all that there is. There must be more to their day you can tell me than what they are doing wrong.
I know they are going to be amazing men one day. Their willingness to go against the grain, to seek new paths, to challenge the norm – these things will make them great leaders and innovators. (I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs spent a lot of recesses in time-out.) They are absorbing information at a rate that, to me, is alarming. They are bright, and hopeful, and they love you so very much. I hope you see this in them as well. I know that you are doing so much for them that is good. I hope you can see that you are.
If you can, tell me. I have them when they are tired and hungry and sick. You have them when they are at their best, trying their hardest, doing their utmost to succeed. Tell me what you see that is good. I need to hear it from you.
Exhausted, but Hopeful Mother