My Mama Friend and I sat at her kitchen table, surrounded by windows that provided a view of our kids swinging and kicking a soccer ball in the yard. We shared Mama stories -- triumphs and defeats. She described one of those situations we've all experienced -- when she had to go to bat for her kid. A friend was putting him in a bad position. And the friend's parent wasn't seeing the problem.
But it's ok, she said mercifully. She is her child's advocate and I'm mine.
My wise friend's words stuck with me. That's so true, isn't it?
I am my child's advocate. It's a position I'm honored to hold.
If I don't pay attention to the quirks and beats of her personality and her needs, who will? It's not profound to point out that every child in the world is different. Even among our own flesh-and-blood, the needs can vary greatly. So who else to better pay attention to our children's strengths and weaknesses, joys and sorrows, triggers and love languages, than us, the parents?
I know for sure I have two daughters who are very different. I have one who's a leader and one who's a follower. Both positions present potential problems, for which they need their Mama to help level the field. Because I understand things about my daughters that others don't. I don't intend to remove all obstacles in their paths, of course. Problems are good for building character and resilience. But the Mama Bear in me does intend to be their biggest activist and defender. Whether it's an adult who doesn't understand that my spirited, energetic daughter physically cannot "just sit still." Or a friend who doesn't realize her remarks have the power to stab my sensitive daughter's heart in two. I will be their advocate forever.
And I would expect you to be for yours.
Henry Hodges Needs a Friend. I love this book because Henry's involved, intuitive parents noticed he was lonely, bored, and had difficulty making friends. They knew their son well enough to know that a new dog would bring the joy he so desperately needed. And his adopted dog, Hap, sure enough made him the happiest boy around.
I'm giving away one copy of this book to an involved, advocate of a parent, like you. :) Just leave a comment telling me a characteristic of your child no one else may notice, but you. Or tell me a time you've had to be an advocate for your child.
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