When this photo was taken, we were at one of our closest friends houses celebrating a special birthday and Halloween. In the rooms behind me, more than 15 children were playing instruments. Six moms were laughing and talking loud enough to be heard. Outside of the window children were running and laughing and screaming.
Sydney needed a break.
I went looking for her and walked in to find her here. She had removed her shoes and placed them neatly on the night stand. She tucked her little body under the covers and pulled them snugly up to her chin.
When I turned the corner and saw her precious face my whole self paused. My shoulders relaxed, and a grateful smile showed on my face.
After last week’s Motherhood Moment, many people wrote to tell me that they were “Sydney all grown up”. Stories were recounted of introverted people living in an extroverted world. Readers shared their challenges. They wrote of processing life inwardly in a culture where extroverts are the ones that are supported and valued.
One woman told me that my daughter was lucky “to have a mother who supported and understood how great this need for time away is”. She went on to share that she was encouraged to be more “normal” as a child and behave in a way that was more socially accepted.
It was while reading this last statement that I felt the enormity of my personal gratitude. However it happened, I have come to understand the value in letting my children be who they are instead of what others expect of them.
Not every house will accept that Sydney’s time away is not rude. Every bed will not be available for her to climb into. Finding Sydney so comfortable and refreshed on this day though, made me feel the importance of choosing environments that support my children.
Some say this is sheltering my children, that I am keeping them in a bubble. Maybe I am.
I believe with every part of me that the most important thing for my children is that they are not shut down or shut up. If I have to keep them in a relative bubble to allow them to be confident with who they are, then bring on the soap.
I have faith that this will provide my children the strength, security and acceptance they need. I trust that these feelings will give them a strong foundation. I pray that even when they are with people who are not as loving, this beginning will provide them a life that is comfortable, smart, and joyful.
What is your Motherhood Moment?