Last night I was blessed to spend the evening with an amazing group of some of the most intelligent and influential mothers in the city (more on why later) and at some point during dinner the topic of our best and worst parenting moments were discussed. Of course for the worst, almost everyone had a story of a bruise or bump, or a time when they were reminded that they needed to be in "mom mode" by a chatty child, and I shared the story of how about six months ago I "lost" my kid at the aquarium for a few minutes (which felt like hours.) These are the kind of things you would expect to hear when talking to women whose children range in ages from 3 months to 23 years and nothing anybody said surprised me, as everyone who has ever spent a day with a child could have certainly related to any of these missteps.
What surprised me, rather, was what each individuals best parenting memory was. It wasn't, as I would have thought, any sort of milestone like graduation, or any particular achievement. No, what everyone treasured as the best part of parenting, was the little things, the kind of day to day things that would go unnoticed by most, but as a parent they make they remind you that by doing your best, you are giving your child exactly what they need.It was things like, getting a call from your older son asking for advice on an employment, or your child showing their independence by choosing to walk home with a friend, getting praise on how well behaved your children were at a restaurant by complete strangers, and small things like seeing your healthy child play with a toy, or the day your infant finally napped.
For me my fondest memory of parenthood is now. Seeing the way my Little Man has grown, and how at three he has become such a smart, funny, and sweet little boy. I love our routines, the way we interact, and most of all how he is finally able to express himself using his words and thoughts. In short, the best part for me is being able to watch my little man grow up and knowing that I had a hand in making him who he is.
It's the little things that make every day better than the last, I'm glad to know that over the next twenty years that will continue to ring true.