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.