Yesterday we went swimming.You, your dad, Sydney and I. You had been asking for all of us to go for days. You have been taking lessons and are doing so well, and you love being in the water as much as I do.
We had so much fun. You smiled fully the entire time we were there. We all did.
And whether it is swimming, or acting, or playing superheroes, your smile is always different when we are doing something that you truly love.
Just as my smile is when I am doing something that I love, and everyone else’s is too.
I know that my smile was different each time I was at a Dave Matthews show, or when I am laughing really hard with my girlfriends.
And so I should have understood that some of the ways you spend your time would bring you more joy. And that I should be creating those opportunities reguarly.
Instead I have gotten into the habit of choosing things that I think you would like, instead of listening to what you are asking for.
And it is not to say that sometimes my suggestions are not appropriate, because certainly they are. And I do know that part of my role as your mother is to expose you to things that you may not have thought of.
But you had to ask me to sign you up for swimming lessons for two weeks before I heard you. And I should have listened the first time you asked.
Now I understand how to pay more attention.
But this is my first time being a mom, and you are my first child.
And while I feel fortunate that immediately upon becoming a mother I knew the things that I would not do, learning how to make the best choices to ensure you become who you are meant to be, instead of who I think you should be will be a long process.
This is a tough thing for me as a parent; standing back and observing who you are instead of inundating you with the possibilities.
I am glad that this knowledge has been brought to my attention while you are so young, because unquestionably I was headed toward forming you into who I thought you would like to be.
And now, with this new understanding, I get to know you.
I get to learn about what really makes you happy and what holds your interest. I get to see first hand how your beautiful and curious mind processes information and what intrigues you.
As I sit quietly, I watch how you play. I notice how you move action figures, and that you get really frustrated when Sydney does not understand how hard you worked on a block structure.
This shows me how invested you were in your project. It also shows me how patient and forgiving you are.
And I am having so much fun getting to know you. You continue to teach me new things and inspire me to be better at being patient and intentional and at listening.
Mostly though, I always want to be better at being your mom.
We are finding our way, Owen. And though we are hitting some challenges, we are getting better.
I am getting better.
And that is never something I will stop working on.
I love you Owen.