Driving home from swim lessons the other night I couldn’t have been more proud. My daughter was reading and my son and I were singing to the radio. Mom, he said, could you please turn down the radio a bit so we don’t disturb sister reading?
Wow. Did I hear him right?
I turned the radio all the way down, turned to him while we sat at a stop light. That was so considerate, I acknowledge, thank you for that.
You’re welcome, mama. Please turn the radio back on, just not too loud for sister.
I’m thinking, Okay, Eddie Haskell, what do you want?
The evening continued that way. So I made sure to acknowledge without over gushing about the kind way the two siblings were getting along. Turns out my son didn’t want anything, but only to be kind to his big sister.
Walking to school yesterday, a parent friend gave me a compliment on something I had done and it filled me with so much light. I walked lighter, my thoughts turned in a brighter direction.
Even as adults we want to be acknowledged. A little bit of recognition, not gushing, just a word or two goes a very long way.
I have been noticing how I feel and how things shift when I receive acknowledgement from someone. Sometimes the recognition makes me feel shy and I brush the words away changing the subject. Other times I radiate a huge smile, offer a hug, walk on air.
No matter how I receive the acknowledgement in my head, I really try to always say, Thank You, because no matter if I am feeling shy, confident, proud, or embarrassed I am truly thankful. I am grateful to be heard, noticed, recognized, received well.
Some of us need more acknowledgement than others. We all handle it and receive it in our own unique way. It awakens me to realize how much light I can offer my child, my husband, a friend, a stranger just by acknowledging them, be it with a word, a smile, a hug, stopping to converse.
I need to toss the idea that my son is being Eddie Haskell. He was genuine then with his sister and again this morning when he told me, You look good in those jeans, mama and at lunch today, You make the best Mac n’ cheese.
Even Eddie Haskell didn’t always pay Mrs. Cleaver compliments only when he wanted something. Sometimes people are nice just to be nice. No strings attached.
by J.G. McGlothern