I wrote this awhile back and found it in my drafts. I never got around to finishing it but thought I’d go ahead and publish it all the same. (My daughter is past the three-year-old stage and is four now, thankfully. ;)) For all the AP mamas that parent alongside me, here is my love letter to you.
I love you because…
1. I get to see you be real.
Ain’t no one perfect in this group…and that is a beautiful thing. You don’t know how much I need to see your humanness on some days. And hear it told. Transparent people are hard to come by. Thank you for being real.
2. I am a better mother because of you.
I feel calmer, more at peace in the face of my daughter’s tantrums with you. I can acknowledge her feelings, meet her needs and even feel frustrated all at once and never feel judged. It is freeing to parent when you feel those around you supporting you even silently. I can react in the way I know is right because I don’t have to waste energy on wondering what you are thinking of me and my child and react out of a place of fear and anxiety instead of calm and compassion.
3. I’m not weird with you.
Well, I’m still weird, but I don’t feel my weirdness because we have so many of our strangenesses in common. I can freely discuss cloth diapers, babywearing, full term breastfeeding and nurse my baby in your presence and all of it is normal. It is nice to feel normal sometimes.
4. You are wise…but you share your wisdom with compassion.
There are no snooty know-it-alls in this group. Yet I have gleaned from the rich harvest of knowledge that has been gently shared with me from all of you. The advice, tips, sanity-saving, tantrum-easing, stress-relieving information…I’ve soaked it all up.
5. I trust you.
We are that village raising our children together. I don’t worry about what you might say to my children. I know it will be right. I know you won’t judge them if they are having a bad day. And I know you will treat them with kindness and dignity, regardless of their actions.
6. You don’t leave me hanging.
If you see me struggling, you reach out your hand to help. Literally. This mama of a high needs 3 year old very much can use another extra set of hands, eyes, ears and heart. I have left many an experience with my daughter on the verge of tears but never when I’m with you. Because whether tangibly or just a knowing look, you encourage me. You let me know it’s okay; she’s okay, too even when her behavior isn’t pretty.