Friday, March 16, 2012

Give yourself credit

There's a book that will always remind me of my dad (possibly his favorite children's book?): Bread and Jam for Frances. A worn copy lies somewhere at my parent's house and it's just one of the things I am looking forward to in Utah. (Other things include corn on the cob, swimming, the 4th of July and Snowies).

I sent my sister-in-law an email a few days ago. I wanted some reassurance from someone in the thick of mothering. Her response nearly made me cry (she's that good at writing emails) and immediately put all my unfounded and hyper-critical worries aside.

She passed along a bit of advice that I've always gravitated towards: trust your gut.

It's something my mom would say, and it's the kind of advice I try to give girls who approach me with questions. I'm a believer in listening and instincts. Lately, however, I think I've been guilty of not listening to my gut, not trusting my hands or my brain or my heart.

I wonder if this hesitation to trust ourselves stems from the overabundance of information we have at our fingertips. When I notice something unusual, I immediately jump online and begin searching and scrolling insatiably through dozens of sites, flipping through books, and asking around, even when my gut says, "Just take a deep breath. She's normal." Or, "Somedays she just doesn't want to eat as much. She's healthy." Or, "If you scrutinized your waste the way you do Ada's you'd probably be conducting online searches all day. She's just fine." Or, "She just needs you. She's yours."

So while I'm grateful that we have a wealth of trusted resources, I'm also grateful for the gentle reminder I was given to trust my gut. It reminds me also to give myself a chance, and understand that I am Ada's mother, and as such, her knower. I know her.

This phrase is quickly becoming my personal mantra (and it should be yours too): I am more capable than I realize.


Anne said...

Is that HAIR is see?

Anne said...

By the way...Ada couldn't be luckier.

Lindsey said...

Love you guys! By the way, your piece was fantastic...definitely at home in that extraordinary exhibit.

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