I’m on Facebook a lot, and I have to admit, my least favorite part about it is that people brag about their kids.
This is not to say that I hate pictures of people’s kids. I love those. Post pics of your kids, please. I do like seeing them. Kids are usually smiling, and having fun, and doing cool and silly things that kids do. And they’re always cute. So please, continue with the photos of your kids. And your cats. Oh my goodness, don’t ever stop the cats.
But the bragging. Sigh.
I don’t know why I’m like this. Maybe it’s because I don’t brag about my kids really ever. I’ve never been much of a braggart in general. I’ve always been a little wary of people who are. What are they trying to hide with their pride?
Everyone loves their kids. They want to share with the world how awesome they are. I could crow about my kids. They do plenty for me to crow about. But I don’t. I consider that there might be a person out there who can’t boast about his or her kids, and that keeps me from boasting about my own. I don’t want to make people feel bad because my kids are amazing. Or maybe I don’t want people to look at my kids and be all, “Oh-ho-ho, they’re so great, are they? Well, let’s just sit back and wait for them to fall.”
Because let’s face it: someday, my kids are going to fall.
But then I wonder: am I less proud of my kids because I don’t post about the wondrous things they do each day? Am I a terrible parent because I don’t share with the world all the ways they make me proud for just being their mom?
What does that even mean, exactly?
I love my kids. There are certain things I love about them that have nothing to do with what they’ve accomplished or even the intrinsic parts of our relationship that began with me carrying them in my body for all those months and then raising them all these years. They’re turning into people whom I love for other reasons. Here are a few:
I love that he keeps his room neat.
I love her ability to make crafts from cardboard, even though there are half finished projects all over the house.
I love that they like each other’s friends.
I love that he looks back 3 times while walking to the bus stop just to see if I’m still watching him walk to the bus stop. I love that he waves and smiles.
I love her loud, open-mouthed laugh.
I love that they ask how each other’s day was.
I love his sensitivity. He thinks about things.
I love that she sticks up for her dad.
I love that they both consider Pop-Tarts appropriate gifts to give and receive.
I love his passion for video games, even though he spends way too much time on them.
I love her hair.
I love that when they get mad at each other they can’t stay away from each other, even though it’s frustrating and I want to bang my head against the wall.
I love his low, subversive chuckle.
Love that she’s an unapologetic carnivore.
I love his freckles.
I love that she has a safe place for everything.
I love that he sticks up for me.
I love that when watching her play basketball I can see myself in her movements, even though I was never an athlete.
Love that he loves strawberries.
I love her self-confidence. She knows who she is, today.
I love how he communicates with his eyes.
I love her abiding optimism.
I love that even though they sometimes say they hate each other, I can tell that they don't.