I cannot even remember where we bought these 2 plaques. The one on the left was given to Little Boy because he gave up ever so easily. 7 years younger than his sister, Little Boy came off second best in EVERYTHING for as long as he could remember being alive. Losing was Little Boy's place in the family. His favourite words were "I can't do it, Mom!" This applied to anything that required more than 2 minutes of effort.
The one on the right was given to The Daughter. She was a social butterfly par excellence. She loved her friends so very much that if someone else wanted to score better than her in exams and assignments, she would let them and be very proud of herself!! Her way was to stroll through life and enjoy the people who appeared in it. Not surprisingly, people enjoyed her too. I, however, worried that she had no ambition whatsoever that did not stretch beyond today. The girl had no goals!
I worried. Visions of an old age spent supporting a Loser Son and a Dilettante Daughter gloated at me like hungry ghosts.
So, when I came across these plaques on an overseas trip, I bought them. I placed the plaques in the children's rooms and adjured them to remember the words. I told them that these plaques would stay with them to give them courage, for as long as they needed the courage. When they thought they didn't need them anymore, they could return them to me.
I noticed both plaques today for the first time, sitting in MY study. I don't know when they were returned to me. Life has been full and busy... and the momentous moments came and went. Unnoticed.
That's part of the mothering journey I guess. We worry and worry about our children's imperfections and have nightmares about why their teeth have not come out (as if any young bridegroom has ever walked down the aisle without a mouth full of teeth)... about them being unable to focus (when time is all it takes for them to learn how)... about them being playful (when they're children and learn through play).
Then one day, you wake up and notice 2 plaques.