Our Most Important Work

I have been absent from the social media world for almost 2 weeks, and honestly its been a breath of fresh air! I love what I have started with Reading Noodle, and cannot wait to continue to share new ideas and resources about reading. However, we had a long couple of weeks with a really sick baby, all the grandparents in town (so fun!), and then my husband and I got sick. While we were busy with houseguests and caring for each other I just put the social media aspect of my business on hold. It was great to just focus on my family. While I have still been working on preparing this months orders on the side, I definitely let parts of my business take a back seat for several days to spend time with family.

That being said, I wanted to share something before I curl up in bed for the night:

Tonight, as I put my daughter to bed, I had this overwhelming feeling take over my body as I held her in my arms. The feeling was a flood of warmth and deep love for this little tiny person.

We have a pretty solid bedtime routine and always read the same bedtime story “Time for Bed“. Each night after we read the story I try and have a moment where I tell my sweet babe how loved she is. It’s an intimate moment between mother and daughter. In these moments I place her on my knees so she can see me, I hold her sweet hands in mine, and tell her how loved she is and how special she is.

Tonight felt different for some reason. She was smiling and giving me the cutest look and I said, “Janie, you are so special and so loved.” I paused and the proceeded with one of my favorite mantras from “The Help”.

I looked at her sweet green eyes and said, “You are kind,” and she smiled and nodded innocently, “You are smart,” and I tapped her forehead which made her giggle, and then I gently tapped her chest as tears filled my eyes and said, “And YOU are so so important”. She looked at me and cocked her head to the side and smiled the most genuine smile, and then she leaned forward and nuzzled her head against mine. We sat there for a good 10 seconds, our heads touching, a mother and daughter moment that I will never forget.

After she was in bed I had these thoughts flood my mind:

I want my daughter to grow up being kind. I want her to be the girl that uplifts others, the girl that others gravitate towards because of her goodness, and the girl that seeks after the lonely and the hurt.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing she is smart and to apply herself in all that she does. I want to give her the tools to help her become successful in whatever she chooses.

I want my daughter to have self worth. I want her to know that she is valued. I want her to grow up knowing that her thoughts, feelings, and emotions are heard. I want my daughter to know that she is important on this earth.

I know I am going to play an integral part in her gaining a knowledge of these things. I know that my example of how I treat others and speak about others will ultimately influence her choosing kindness above cruelty.

I know that by pushing myself and striving towards my goals, I will set an example of a woman who is ambitious and smart. I know that by putting aside my “to do list” and reading and learning with her I can challenge her to become a life long learner.

I know that by taking the time to listen to her when she has something to say I am showing her that she is important to me. I know that by taking time to do things she likes and help develop her interests I am helping her recognize that she is a valued individual. I know that by building her up and providing a stable and loving home she will feel safe and important.

These are not easy tasks. I saw parents struggling with this on a daily basis as 100s of children walked through my classroom door over the years. There were children who knew they were loved and treasured, and on the opposite end there were children who feared for their safety when they walked out my door. Then there were the children who felt so obviously unsure of how they were valued in their family and society.

I share this with you tonight in hopes of reminding all of us parents/guardians out there how precious the worth of a soul is. How precious and malleable a young child is, and to take the responsibility to shape and guide our children extremely serious.

Be present with your child. Unplug for a certain time every day where they know they have your undivided attention. Show them acts of kindness throughout the day, and be an example of how to be kind to others. Take time to teach them and challenge them. Most importantly, take time each day to show them and express to them how very important they are to you.

There are too many lonely and forgotten children in this world. Often times, it seems that that couldn’t be your child because your child is fed, clothed, and has all they could possibly want. But beware that loneliness can come in many forms. 

Sweet parents, take heart and know that you are doing your best. We are learning to be parents just as much as our children are learning to be kids! Go cuddle your littles tonight.

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“Children are not distractions from more important work, they are the most important work.” -C.S. Lewis

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