One of my absolute favorite sponsor suites at Blissdom was the Hallmark Suite (just to be clear, this post is not sponsored by them in any way). I have been admiring Hallmark for awhile now because it seems every time I fall in love with a post by a blogger that I love it is part of their “Life Is A Special Occasion” campaign.
Their suite at Blissdom was full of cards that they sent on our behalf to people we loved both inside and outside the conference. My kids love getting mail so they each got one. My husband deserved far more than a card telling him how much I appreciated him shouldering the load so I could go to Nashville. And I sent a few out to some of my blogging besties who couldn’t make the conference this year, letting them know it wasn’t the same without them.
I am not a big card sender. I am also not so great at sharing heart felt emotion. But between the ideas expressed by Hallmark at Blissdom and the ones in this beautiful post by my friend Emily I know that there is something powerful about not just telling people how you feel, but putting “pen to paper” and letting people know how you feel.
I have been pretty open on my blog about my struggle to be the mom I want to be to Lily. It seems while I can rock out awesome parenting moments with Silas and Hannah, I find my rock star moments with Lily are fewer and farther between.
But the thing is I adore her. I mean obviously I love all my kids, but she MADE me a mom. She is so bright and beautiful and confident and amazing. She challenges me not only as a mom but as a person. And not just in a “oh my word how do I parent this kid” way. I mean she truly makes me a better person with her wisdom and insight about the things life throws at us. She is kind of an old soul.
I don’t know how many of you are raising first born daughters. Being one myself I know what a special breed we are. I know I have a lot of expectations for her that I frankly don’t put on my other two kids. I know I am a bit harder on her and tend towards being critical. And I know she often doesn’t get my full attention because I am busy with the other two. I know these things and I know they aren’t fair. Yet I also know that I continue to do them more often than I should.
Lately we seem to be butting heads again. I am ending far too many days frustrated at myself for how I handled things with her. I am also ending far too many days thinking I should just stop saving for her college and start saving for her therapy instead.
She hasn’t loved school this year, which has been hard because in years past she has ended each day of school barely able to wait for the next one. She doesn’t struggle academically but she has complained a lot about how she doesn’t like anything they are learning. Her teacher had even mentioned to us during her fall conferences that Lily doesn’t seem especially happy at school.
We had spring conferences tonight and they went completely opposite. Her teachers talked about how happy Lily is at school. How she is kind to those around her and a favorite to partner with during group times. They talked about how much neater her work is and how she seems to be putting forth more effort. And they shared how confident she is in who she is, something I wish I as an adult knew the secret to.
(Later I asked her what had changed to make her happier at school. And she answered like it was the most obvious answer in the world. “I just decided to change my attitude about it.” See? Wise soul.)
I headed out of her conferences so blessed by all that I had heard. As I walked down the hallway, replaying the kind words said about my daughter I turned around and headed back to her locker. I took a moment to leave her a note on her white board letting her know that I loved her and was proud of her. I hope that message doesn’t get erased and that on a day when she is tempted to get sucked into the mean girl drama, or doesn’t do as well on a test as she wanted or we had one of “those mornings” at home before school, she will see those words and remember how very much she is loved. And how very very proud I am to be her mom.
Who do you need to tell how you feel about them? And what are you waiting for?
Again this post isn’t sponsored by Hallmark in any way. But I hope they inspire you like they have inspired me to tell the people in your life who need to hear it how much they mean to you. They have this awesome “Tell Them” campaign where you can vow to tell your loved ones exactly what they need to hear. I think it is pretty awesome. Check it out.