Parenting young children can often feel mundane and a heck of a lot like Groundhog Day. Along the way, there are lots of rewards - when your newborn smiles, or giggles, when your toddler walks or cuddles into you; when your kid gets an excellent report and you beam with pride. The rewards are actually neverending, they are all of their own definition but ultimately it comes down to pride. Tonight I had a conversation with my Dad and told him a story. He said one of the most rewarding things as a parent, is when your child grows into an adult and supports you - in an emotional sense.
Today, my 6 year old did that for me.
At school pick up today, a good friend of my middle baby, Meisha, was playing with Olive. The girls all love Olive and cuddle her when ever they can. Today Oli had shorts on, and this little girl announced, 'she has a hairy spot on her leg!'. It took me absolutely by surprise. I forget that other people aren't used to it....and this was just a satellite! While my brain jumped through what to say, my dear beautiful Meisha replied with such busting pride, 'yeah! That's her nevus. She has lots. She has a biiiiig one on her back. And more on her arms. And those on her legs. They're her special spots!'. The little girl looked a bit stumped for a moment and then smiled, and carried on playing with Olive.
It is hard to explain to somebody who hasn't lived this, but I will try. Though we are absolutely at peace with Olive's nevus and we are used to it, there are still times when I am hyper aware of it, and of people looking and what they may be thinking. Like when I have to remove her top in the mall carpark because she tipped water all down it. Or when she does that rigid plank thing toddlers do when you try to pick them up and her top rides right up.
I realised tonight that on these occasions I get a little flustered and tend to work a bit quicker, perhaps to avoid people staring. I shouldn't be doing this, I know, but I suppose I am still not used to having to answer questions so I brace myself and almost expect someone to say something....nobody ever has. It is a complete over-protection act on my part, and today Meisha showed me how I need to react to people questioning the differences our baby has.
My kids drive me nuts. Absolutely bonkers! But I couldn't be more proud of them. All 3 of them are incredible little people and if I might say so myself, I think Eddie and I are doing a pretty bloody OK job.