I have decided that the hardest thing about parenting may not be potty-training after all… although that still holds a close second. The hardest part is watching your child’s heart get broken.
You can do your best to keep them from getting skinned knees, getting a splinter, getting run over by a car… but you can’t really keep them from getting their heart broken.
This year I have watched one of my sweet kids navigate through friendships, growing, and maturing. I have watched my child lose their best friend this year because the friend chose an older kid over my child. I have watched cliques form around my child. I have watched my child get confused because they’ve never thought they can only have 1 or 2 friends, and now they are left wondering what is wrong with them that no one will play with them. I have watched my child get bullied because my child is trying to treat the other child the right way rather than retaliate. I have watched my child retaliate only to be the kid who got into trouble.
This year I have watched my child make friends with whoever they came into contact with- including the child sitting next to them on the bench waiting for their swim heat’s turn. I have watched my child be a friend to someone who isn’t like them. I have watched my child help a friend overcome something they were scared of. I have watched my child be a kind, helpful, loving sibling. I have watched my child make the choice to tell the truth- even though it got them into trouble (see retaliation). I have watched my child succeed at something they didn’t think they could do.
I never imagined before I became a parent how much more my heart would break when my child’s heart was broken. But I also never imagined how incredibly proud I would be of my child when they overcame, when they succeeded, when they fought their way through, when they made the right choice.