On Praise

September 9th, 2016 No Comment yet

Imagine you’re a painter, the only painter in the world working on one specific canvas, with paints that are different to everyone else’s, a paintbrush that is like no other, and with each brushstroke, your art takes on a life of its own. Your painting is unpredictable, yet it is in your hands to make it into art.

Now imagine this painting is a child. And there you have it, parenthood.

We all know that raising a kid is challenging, demanding, and a completely different experience for each parent. It’s by far the hardest job we will ever have, because this job lasts all day, all night, for years and years, it’s never complete. We constantly feel like we are failing, doing it wrong. There is a constant feeling of incompetence, constant questioning of choices, and even the moments where we feel accomplished are soon clouded by more questions.

There are a myriad of mothers groups supporting eachother, cyber-patting eachother on the back for the amazing job we’re all doing, we all know that no parent is perfect. But I don’t think there is anything more soul-melting, encouraging, and uplifting than hearing words of praise about your kid from someone outside your immediate circle.

“He makes us laugh,” she said and went on tell the story. “He’s amazing, whatever you have done, you’ve done it right.”

Her words sounded like someone was telling me that I’ve just won a Nobel Peace Prize, saved a village of starving people somewhere in the chaos of Africa, rebuilt Aleppo, and found a cheap cure for all cancers. Now, as I write the words, I see that while they were kind and true, their meaning is nowhere near what they made me feel. They were simply what I needed to hear.

So I thank you, wonderful woman, for giving me the strength and inspiration to continue brushing color onto my unique canvas.

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