When it comes to parenting, I’m weirdly confident. I consider it weird because I tend to second-guess so much else in my life.
But I know that my heart is in the right place when it comes to my son, and even when he’s acting like a little beast, I have the presence of mind to realize that he’s just a kid. I’ve done my research, and I usually have an inkling as to why he’s doing what he’s doing. And quite honestly, I almost always think that even the most head-scratching, button-pushing things he does are pretty adorable. (Except when he attempted to run into the street the other day. Mommy lost it on that one.)
Still, when my 3-year-old exclaimed, “I want to be a mommy like you!” last week and I subsequently asked him what that meant to him, my heart stopped for a split second. What if he said that mommies get angry? Or that mommies yell? Or that mommies check Facebook way too much? Mind you, these are things that I try not to do often—well, maybe I’m guilty of the Facebook sin, even though I generally try to be stealthy about it—but what if they were the things that stuck with him? What if I thought I was being a good mom, but he didn’t think so?
What did being a “mommy like me” mean to him?
Here’s how the conversation went:
3-year-old: “I want to be a mommy like you!”
Me: “What do mommies do?”
3-year-old: “They play with you!”
Me: “What else do they do?”
3-year-old: “They work.”
Me: “Yes, they do. What else?”
3-year-old: “They kiss you!”
And he proceeded to grab my face and plant some big, fat kisses on my forehead, nose and cheeks.
Whew. Thank God.