My journey through motherhood thus far has proved to be more challenging than I had ever imagined. Those challenges have proven to be much more rewarding than I could have expected, too. Being Willow’s mom is undeniably the greatest honor bestowed. She has taught me to question everything and to always trust my instinct. She reminds me how important it is to laugh. She cracks me up every day! She always surprises me with her brilliance and that gigantic heart of hers. What a colossal responsibility it is to preserve such warmth and nurture such potential.
Of course there are many times when the frustrations and challenges of the parenting gauntlet force me to seriously question my parental competence and wherewithal. Times when Willow shouts such profanity I gasp in horror, embarrassed by my echo. Times when she tramples every rule I’ve ever set, plodding along with her own agenda in mind. Times when she refuses to share things that don’t even belong to her. Like mother like daughter.
Mostly though, I swell with pride as I watch my firstborn flourish. Below I share the top three things I am most proud of as I reflect on my first three years of parenting Willow.
I am a proud parent because Willow properly terms male and female anatomy. Uterus, vulva, urethra, anus and penis are all part of her growing vocabulary. She has recently become interested in where eggs and sperm come from after reading Cory Silverberg’s What Makes A Baby. She knows that her genetalia is not simply made up of a vagina; it’s just one part of our complex system. It is important to me that my children are not ashamed or embarrassed by bodies, and it all starts with proper terminology. Willow knowing the complexity of her body is also important for her health and protection. Knowledge is power.
I am a proud parent because Willow knows her boundaries. As you’ve gathered, our family is very open about human anatomy. But this openness does not trump boundaries. Recently, Willow and I were chasing one another and I used my “crab pinchers” to nip her butt. She quickly turned around and sternly said with fierce eye contact and a furrowed brow, “That’s my privacy!” I immediately retracted, apologized and praised her for expressing her boundaries. Self respect is of utmost importance.
I am a proud parent because Willow imitates breastfeeding. It is such a sweet sight to watch a young child practice normal mammalian behavior! The way she gently strokes her stuffed animals and dolls while she “feeds” them, her calm and quiet utterances and her loving gaze are just a glimpse into the compassionate woman she will become.
Now it’s your turn to brag! Share your most proud parenting moments in the comments below.