I'm pretty sure that anyone who is a parent feels inadequate to be one, at least at times. (If I'm alone in this...don't tell me. Please!) For me, my eldest doesn't help my insecurities.
Sometimes he tries to encourage me and leaves me feeling less than encouraged, but laughing. The first time I cut his hair at home with the trimmers was a perfect example of this. I got all done and turned him to face the mirror.
"How'd I do?" I asked.
"Don't worry, Mama. You'll get better," was his answer.
Other times he doesn't even try to encourage me. I have no idea why (other than the fact that I really can't park the car well) but he frequently comments on my driving ability. He once saw a guy back over a curb and remarked, "Wow! He's even worse than Mama!" Like that's so unbelievable! Geesh!
Today, he neither tried to put me down or gave me a left handed compliment. He simply made an observation. We were in the van playing cards while Tyler slept in the back seat and Gracie was at her gymnastics lesson. The van next to us had another homeschooling family in it, friends of ours. Jace's friend was sitting in the passenger seat of their van working on some worksheets. His mother sat in the driver's seat doing something of her own, but occasionally helping him out. At one point, Jace asked, "Why can't you be more like her?"
I asked how he meant and he said that I never help him with his work. I decided that since neither of us was running into another room away from this conversation I'd let it ride...it was kind of nice to have the freedom to play a few turns before answering him. When I did I pointed out that I do help him when he needs it, but that Gracie needs a lot more one-on-one attention at her age. "Yeah, but you never tell me the answers." Golly...well, that's totally unfair of me!
I assured him that his friend was also NOT being given the answers, but only help. And we took a few more turns. "But, you could do more with me. I don't get to spend much time with you."
Can I tell you how much I just wanted to grab him up in my arms and hold him close forever? How thankful I was that he just kept playing his cards and didn't see the tears well up in my eyes? I wouldn't want to embarrass him and ruin the moment.
I took a deep breath and smiled to myself. After I played my turn I asked him if he'd like to do more with just me.
"Uh...yeah." Read that as, "Duh, Mama."
So, we're going to do more together. I'm not sure when or how, yet. But we will. How can I resist? And why would I want to? I can't and I don't. As much as that little boy drives me nuts...I love him. I do.