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Mother's Pride

by Lisa H 1 Oct 2011

It’s funny, the things that make you proud. When I was younger my chest used to puff out and I would smile broadly every time i represented my school or clubs in sports, or achieved something academically.

I have always been a proud Australian and now as I mature (yes, we all know i mean “get older”, no need to point it out thank you very much), I find myself expressing my pride through the actions and development of my own kids. However, pride is a strange thing and sometimes what makes me proud is not always going to stir the same emotions in other people, say for example, my husband.

I am writing this having just dropped off my daughter for her first day at school. That’s enough to make any parent have to blink away a tear or two. Especially when she wandered off to her class with the teacher without even a wave or a look over her shoulder. I ask, where was the kind-hearted grown-up to help me back to the car? My daughter was fine. I was the one needing a tissue and a moment to collect myself!

To be fair, that’s a pretty clichéd parental moment. Anyone with a child over four can relate to that. You might also be able to relate to my pride at my son’s actions, which occurred this week too. This was slightly stranger.

Boys are very funny creatures. Their never- ending action and destruction is incredible. Our lounge-room shelves have had to be re-configured to move all of our books up beyond our son’s grasp after he ripped up all of Hubby’s cricket autobiographies. He left all the other books alone. The recipe books, the novels, the photo albums, the other non-cricket autobiographies they’re all absolutely fine.

It was just the cricket ones that he went for. I walked into the lounge one day to see the torn faces of Ricky Ponting, Freddie Flintoff and various other players I hadn’t heard of, staring up at me from the floor. I had to tidy them away before Hubby came in as he would have been inconsolable. There are only so many tears one family can stand at any one time.

However, for all his, err, exuberance, my boy does have the capability to make me proud. and in quite different ways to how I feel about my daughter. Today, I was genuinely awe-struck, completely moved. I was almost ecstatic with joy and pleasure at my little man. He was so clever. He is only eighteen months of age but during “nappy free-time” he did a little wee on the floor, looked down, said “uh oh!” and then ran to the bathroom where he sat on the potty and finished his wee.

Afterwards I gave him the biggest hug (having wiped him clean, obviously) and he was all smiles. He knew what a clever boy he was and this was a huge step in his development. It was a great moment and I simply had to share the news. as everyone does, I immediately rushed to Facebook, and sent SMSes to my mum and the Hubby to share the news.

And this is when I realised the fickle and funny differences we all have about events that make us proud. some of my friends left encouraging messages like “Well done!” and “What a clever boy!”, while my Mum SMSed me back “Wow! amazing. He’s growing up so fast!”, revealing both her own pride but also the familiar sadness of being far away from her grandchildren during the early years of their development. Hubby on the other hand wrote “He pissed on the floor! I hope you’ve wiped it up.”

As I say, pride can take many forms.

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