Posts By: Heather Dixon

An open letter to my daughters – from your over-thinking Mom.

Dear Anna and Lauren,

I’m writing to you today for the same reason that I always blog about you or write to you. So that one day, when you’re grown, you’ll hopefully be interested in knowing how your Mom thought and felt about your childhood and raising you when you were wee.  And you’ll be able to read all about it.

(Goodness knows I won’t remember all the little details.)

I want to give you a look into the inner ramblings of my mind. And it goes a little something like this:

 

I’m laying in bed.

I’m thinking instead of sleeping again. I’m thinking about how late it is. Thinking about you two.

I turn over and stare at a strong, quiet face – covered in stubble. It’s a peaceful face. Sound asleep. It’s one of your most favourite faces in the world.

I marvel at how the brain inside that head has the ability to be so carefree. I wonder if he ever lays awake thinking about every little thing that happened that day. Would sleep ever take a backseat to the worry that he didn’t do good enough today?

I wonder if your little 4-year-old self will remember that I lost my cool and yelled at you this morning? Or will you remember the afternoon we played on your bed for over an hour – kissing and hugging, then laughing… hiding under the covers, giggling and rolling around.

Will you, my sweet little 2-year-old, have happy memories growing up in our house? Playing in the court outside, running and biking and picking up leaves and insects. Will you think I took enough pictures of you? Will you talk about our family vacations with fondness when you’re grown?

What does it take to do it right? What do I need to do? What do I need to say?

Of course, I realize, for the most part I just need to be. Be present. Be here for you. Kiss your boo-boos. Hug you each morning. Tell you how happy I am to see you when you get home from school. Just be me.

Because “me” is someone who loves you intensely. Who can’t quite remember being someone other than your Mom.

Someone who will always do things like smile and laugh with an incredible amount of pride at the sight of you jumping on the trampoline at gymnastics class. Or immediately start bawling when you give me your first Mother’s Day card made at daycare.

And as you get older, as we make different choices together – I’m learning. About you, and me, and the decisions I have to make as a parent.

And I’ve realized that there’s no script to follow. I can’t answer the question “what does it take to be a good Mom”. There are no rules for everyone to obey.

But, I do know that it doesn’t matter if we stay at home or go to work, have one child or have six, if they’ve got special needs or not, if we believe in attachment parenting or if we’re laissez-faire. We all have the same worries. The same feelings. The same questions.

And we all love like we’ve never loved before.

Remember that, my girls. Remember that I love you. Remember that, Moms. Remember that you love like you’ve never loved before.

And for that reason, the kids are going to be alright.

Everything’s going to be alright.

We’re alright Mommy. You can stop worrying so much. (For now…)

 

About the Author:

Heather Dixon is a copywriter at Mabel’s Labels, a smoothie aficionado, a runner, a wife and a Mom to two – soon to be three! – highly advanced little girls (according to her husband and her).

Outsmarted by a toddler and a cookie.

Cookie? What cookie?

I can clearly remember the exact moment I realized my toddler was getting too smart.

When my 4-year-old daughter was not quite 2 yet, the little buttertart pulled me by the hand to the kitchen one day and pointed to a tin sitting on our counter. A tin she has never seen before.

“Coo-ee!” she exclaimed, over and over again.

Yes, there were cookies inside. But how the heck did she know?

So I did what Moms do sometimes. I lied to my kid. (The right kind of little white lie doesn’t hurt that much, right?)

“Sorry honey, the cookies are all gone. No cookies! All gone! Cookies all gone!”

She looked at me with a furrowed brow. I got down to her level (as I’ve been told by experts to do to help her understand what I’m saying) and repeated myself.

“No cookies, honey. Sorry.”

She looked at me and started saying something I couldn’t quite understand. I kind of stared at her for a moment… Just enough time for her to get frustrated with me. “Mommy! Coo-ee!!” she yelled while pointing at my face.

“I don’t know what you mean, sweetie.” I replied.

So she touched a spot on my face. And when she pulled her finger away, there was a brown spot on it.

Chocolate.

I wiped my mouth and realized I had a huge blob of chocolate chip on my face.

Awesome. I had just been caught red-handed. So I grabbed the tin and gave her a cookie. “Here you go, honey. Have a cookie.”

She smiled and trotted off.

I stood in the kitchen for a moment, watching her walk away happily, realizing I had been found out by a 23-month old.

The kid. She’s too smart for her own good.

Mama’s in trouble.

 

About the Author:

Heather Dixon is a copywriter at Mabel’s Labels, a smoothie aficionado, a runner, a wife and a Mom to two – soon to be three! – highly advanced little girls (according to her husband and her).

The single most important thing I hope my daughters learn from me.

Guest Post by Mabel’s Labels Copywriter, Heather Dixon

Isn’t it funny how the power and meaning of parenting just creeps up on you sometimes?

One minute you’re in the grocery store looking at a bag of milk and the next you’re sobbing over how incredible your child is because they know how to drink from a sippy cup all of the sudden. They’re just so amazing.

I learned all about this 4 years ago, when I had my first baby girl – and then again 2 years ago when I had my second. Once I had Anna & Lauren, I knew all about this true, incredible love parents just seem to develop immediately and the responsibility that comes along with it.

But my moment of clarity wasn’t in the grocery store. It happened when my Mom and I went to see the musical The Secret Garden while my daughters stayed home with their Dad.

Since it’s a children’s story, there were lots of Moms and Dads and their little kids with them in the theatre. At the end of the row we were sitting in were two little boys. Brothers. Maybe about 6-years old. They looked like they could be twins. One of the boys appeared to have a disability.

Having no personal experience with special needs, I wasn’t sure what his was. All I knew for sure was that he was in a wheelchair – and his parents were very attentive. They watched him closely as he took a sip of his drink. They helped him with his hearing aid when the music was a bit too loud for him.

At one point, near the end of the play, something sort of exciting happened on stage. And when everything went silent, an excited “Whoa!” came from beside us. Everyone nearby turned to see the little boy, no longer in his wheelchair but curled into his Mom’s lap, watching the play intently. It was a sweet moment.

When the play ended, I couldn’t help but want to look over at the little boy again. So I did. And I saw him smiling. Smiling so broadly. His whole body was kind of shaking with excitement.

He was just so… happy.

And I started crying and crying.

I was crying because his parents brought him there. He cuddled into their laps. They rubbed the back of his head with his fuzzy little-boy hair. And they made him incredibly, incredibly happy that day.

That little boy was so clearly and undeniably loved. And that’s what everyone wants, really. We all want to love and be loved.

Seeing that family made me think of my daughters. Sure, I think they’re so cute and funny and smart. I love them more than anything. But I realized in that moment that it’s so incredibly important that they know it.

I realized that I have a huge responsibility to make sure my daughters feels undeniably loved. Life is all about loving these little beings into becoming happy, confident children, filled with the self-esteem and tools they need to be happy and productive adults.

I hope that I’m successful. I hope they always feel adored and self-confident. I hope their lives are happy. Their childhood is happy. I hope they learn from their Dad and I what love is all about.

And more than anything, I hope that they will one day be lucky enough to feel like that little boy felt.

To see the world the way he saw it.

 

 

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