We had a deal. I had given her a manicure and pedicure the night before school started. We painted sparkles on our thumbs and I told her that if she missed home or missed me at all during the day, to just look down and remember how much I love her.
I had given her the most reassuring words that I know, and then she gave them back.
“It’s ok mommy. It’s me, Balin. It’s me, I’m here,” he says as he’s climbing into bed with me at 6 am. He’s echoing the words I give to him as he’s awaking from a deep nap and trying to orient himself into reality. He knows them to be helpful and so he uses them.
He’s just found his desk and we’re standing side by side on the edge of a new school year. He’s holding my hand, and he tugs it downward as if to say he wants to whisper in my ear. As I bend down I feel him give me a kiss on the cheek as if to say the words that he cant muster in the moment. His eyes are slightly wet and he focuses on his crayons as he sits down. Echoing words, echoing actions. It’s a gift to hear our words echoed from our children’s hearts. It tells me that sometimes, I do get it right as a parent and I do choose life with my words. Please don’t be misled dear reader as this isn’t always the case, but in order to recognize the successes we must also be aware of the failures. I’m thankful for this gift of reflection, of echoing words and actions.