In a competitive world, there seems to be plenty to make a parent proud. Beauty, good grades, trophies, ribbons, and other special recognitions are the stuff the world sees. I love those things, for sure. But what makes my chest swell are the little things that no one (including my children) sees but me.
Here's a list:
* my daughter asking her daddy to take her to the store to buy a frozen casserole because it's the only thing she knows how to cook so that she can prepare dinner on Mother's Day
* realizing the day after shopping for pageant dresses that she probably DID look at the price tags, choosing the less expensive one and insisting that she loves it
* my daughter jumping up and down and shouting, "I prayed about that! God listened!"
* genuinely liking my daughters' friends
* witnessing a child snapping at her mother in the mall and realizing that I cannot remember being spoken to in public in that manner
* hearing other siblings call each other names and noting that although the girls argue, they refrain from name-calling
* hearing my daughter call the boy that broke her sister's heart a "poopie-head"
* hearing the other daughter give her sister a pep talk after a major disappointment
* learning that my daughter has taken to writing letters to a grandmommy that doesn't use email
* reading the words "I love you" on my daughter's facebook page in response to her friends' posts
* discovering a picture one of the girls has drawn for a friend
* waiting for the girls to finish the "get well" cards they insisted upon making just as we were heading out to the hospital
* the girls kissing each other goodnight and saying "I love you" before bed
The reason these things fill me with pride is that I know I didn't teach this stuff directly. I didn't ask for them. I certainly never instructed my daughter to tell the world that she is a prayer warrior, although I probably should have.
Turns out what the experts say is true after all. They learned it through observation. And I can't help but be pleased with their parents for showing them how it's done.