Last Wednesday, on a sunny afternoon, I woke up my boy from his nap and put him down on the floor. He looked at me for a second, before running over, and said,
“Mama, I’m beautiful.”
And those three words. Those three words did me in.
Most mornings, BF wakes up Happy, and they have a little quiet time reading books before Happy comes running into our room to tell me good morning or I go bursting into his room to do the same. Either way, my words- though I had not realized it, honestly, until last Wednesday afternoon- are the same. “Hey, there’s my beautiful boy” or “how’s my beautiful boy?” And we hug and kiss and just make happy that we’re in each other’s life (I am not quite sure that there’s a better way to start the day).
That afternoon, looking at Happy, so proudly owning his beautifulness- his full-hearted, in your face happiness and love, love, love- I teared. That time, I felt like I got one right. As a parent, you don’t always get it right or, at least, I don’t always get it right. And so this one time, this proclamation of his own fabulousness, well, it was enough for me. Enough for me for a very long time, I think.
I’m not sure that I ever deliberately thought about how I greeted Happy in the morning– although it has occured to me that I do want him to grow up and know that seeing him again after an absence of thirty seconds or thirty hours lights me from within, that who he is matters to me, makes a world of happy difference in how I experience life (not that I want to define myself by him or by being a mom, I don’t. But I do want him to know that his presence is a joy and a gift and I want to make sure that I am not too tired, distracted, busy to demonstrate and appreciate that). And, yet, how I greet him in the morning is now one of his touchstones. Thinking about that has me thinking about how I greet people in general, how we greet people, how that first moment of coming back together with someone can have an impact on him or her, how I might be more deliberate about that moment.
How do you greet people? What is your favorite greeting? What is your favorite memory of a greeting? Has a greeting made a difference in your life?