Usually my head swirls with all the things I have done/am doing/will do wrong in this whole molding-human-life thing. Evading mother-guilt is a constant preoccupation. Yesterday, all my insufficiencies melted away in the warm sun as I watched my boys at the park.
Things I've done right:
1. I taught my children how to make friends.
When J1 started kindergarten last year, J2 was left at home with just me. While I spent time with him each day, I couldn't play with him every moment of the day. I would take him to the park and, after pushing him on the swings for a while, tell him to go find someone to play with. I taught him how to introduce himself, how to ask another child if he/she wanted to play, and how not to let rejection bother him.
We have gone to three different parks over the past week and at each one my boys have found or formed a group of kids to play hide-and-seek or tag. They feel no self-consciousness in approaching other children. I am proud of them.
2. I answer all the questions they have.
Oh, the thousands of questions I have been asked over the past seven years--dumb ones, profound ones, silly ones and unanswerable ones. If I know the answer; I explain it to them. This has led to some pretty interesting conversations.
3. I have taught them to do what they can for themselves.
They are only 5 and almost 7, but they already have small responsibilities around the house and enjoy doing things for themselves. Now if I could just teach them how to scrub a toilet, life would be complete. :-)
4. I have taught them to enjoy books.
We have read, read, and read 'til our throats were dry and tired. Now, I watch my oldest sit and read books just because he wants to. Another proud moment.
I am not perfect by any means, but I have done a few things right.