One of the greatest joys of parenting for me so far, has been watching Ryan transform from toddler to child. At 3 and a half years old, Ryan has grown into such a thoughtful boy. I am daily amazed by his awareness and sensitivity, and sometimes, it makes my heart feel like it's going to burst. Often Ryan does things that are so sweet, that Michael and I make eye contact, soaking in these surprising moments and quietly saying to one another, 'look at our son.'
Other times, the situation is less positive, like one night when Ryan was upset and told me that he didn't like me, but he still loved me. Even though it hurt to hear that, it also felt good that he knows how to articulate his feelings. And I said to him in response, 'that's ok.' Because most of all, as his mother, I want him to feel safe to feel what he is feeling. I want him to be able recognize and acknowledge his feelings, whether they are feelings of happiness or anger, fear or love, frustration or excitement. I don't want him to feel ashamed or afraid of his feelings, and even in a moment when he was feeling something not great about me, I still wanted him to feel free to feel it. Because we're all better, when we're inside out. Know what I mean? :)