Friday Free for All -- Our Best Moments as Moms

In response to repeated suggestions last Friday during our worst moments as moms, here we are on the flip side: Tell us one of your best moments.

To get the discussion started, I'll tell two of mine. (It's much harder to write about my strengths as a mom than vice versa!)

First, on Mother's Day my kids and I competed against each other for who could chew the most sticks of sugarless gum at once. The rule was that I had to double the kids' count. My personal best was 34 pieces of Trident Bubble Gum and I still lost to MJ who successfully masticated a whopping 28 pieces. My husband videotaped the event. It was disgusting -- I can still taste the buckets of sickly sweet liquid dripping down my throat. But it was a helluva lot of fun, and I sure hope the kids remember me in my pajamas, choking and laughing with a wad of pink goo in my mouth instead of me screaming at them to put their dirty clothes in the hamper.

Second, my middle child has always had a flair for clothing ensembles. When she was three, she used to page through my copy of People magazine and cut out the most outlandish celebrity outfits. I always let her dress herself, remembering how independent it made me feel when my mother let us pick our clothing (my favorite instance: The Easter Sunday my little brother trotted off to church wearing a fancy Easter suit atop his favorite ratty red sneakers).

One February morning, MJ came down for breakfast wearing her cherished multi-striped winter tights and a zebra-striped bathing suit her grandmother had sent for Valentine's Day. Nothing else. Halloween costumes in Greenwich Village can't compare. She wore the outfit proudly to daycare. I will never forget her running down the hall to her classroom, a skinny blur of colored stripes, and how other parents' heads turned as she flew by smiling.

To me, one of the most important parts of parenting is figuring out -- and actively supporting -- what makes my children tick. Despite many failings as a mom, I've gotten this right with all three kids. I hope the knowledge that at least one other human being on this planet -- me -- accepted and adored what makes them unique will stick with my kids after I'm long gone.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  May 19, 2006; 6:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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Leslie,

You've hit this one out of the park. The best thing we can do in ANY of our serious personal relationships is form and maintain emotional connections of unconditional love and support.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2006 8:27 AM

My 1 year old daughter was just beginning to develop a vocabulary outside of "Mommy" and "Daddy". I taught her the word "big" and everytime she said it I would follow it up with "Yeah, baby, that's how we think." Then came the perfect opportunity when I was at the family get-together dinner with my brother, sister, wife, mother, inlaws, nephews and nieces. My daughter was sitting in her high chair right next to me at the dinner table when I rolled up my sleeve, bent my arm, popped out my muscle, and asked my daughter, "Hey baby, what do you think about this?" She reached out and squeezzed my bicep with both hands and answered with resounding jubilation, "Thats BIG, Daddy!!!" The whole family busted out laughing. I have to admit that coaching the baby to say things to inflate my ego is cheap, but hey, that's how we think.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 19, 2006 8:57 AM

I don't know about a best mom "moment", but I think the best thing I do as a mom is read, read, read to my kids. I sometimes get sick of reading the same book 29 times in a row, but if that's what they want, that's what they get. My 3-year old is starting to read and spell, and my 18-month old has a huge vocabulary. I have devoured books all my life and it is my hope to instill that love in them. So far, so good!

Posted by: MomNC | May 19, 2006 9:06 AM

I've only been at this for five and a half months, so I haven't had too much opportunity for stellar moments. But there are two moments that really stand out in my mind as great moments:

(1) The day when my daughter was about 15 weeks old and I suddenly realized that the awful pain that had previously accompanied breastfeeding had disappeared. We'd had a terrible time with breastfeeding, and I'd been tempted to quit a million times since my daughter was born. Every time, though, I promised to give it just one more feeding. In a week and a half, I'll have been breastfeeding her exclusively for six months, and I think now we'll keep going for the full year. I'll always be proud of myself for not giving up.

(2) I sing to my daughter constantly -- nonsense songs, show tunes, and the few kids' songs I can remember. I didn't think she cared much for it until the other day, when we were in the car. It's aleady hot here in NC, and my daughter absolutely hates getting overheated in her carseat. So she was screaming. In desperation, I finally switched off the radio and launched into "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." By the time the sun had dried up all the rain, she was silent, and she remained so for the rest of the 20 minute ride, as long as I kept singing. It felt great knowing that there was something I could do to make her feel better.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 19, 2006 9:51 AM

My best moment as an aunt thus far was taking the boys (6 and 4) out a few days after I'd been laid off at work. I let them know that I didn't have much money to spoil them but once I got another job again, I'd be able to. They completely accepted it without any fuss and we had a great day.

A few weeks later I came over and let them know that Aunt Liz had a new job! They did their happy dances. And I said "Do you know what that means?" and they said "You can spoil us rotten again!" And I said "Exactly!" Then I took them out and did exactly that- with a trip to the movies, kids pack for snacks, one toy each from the toy store, and ice cream for dessert.

Posted by: Liz | May 19, 2006 9:56 AM

I love all these stories. Father of 4, admit it, you are a super dad and husband, even if you like to pretend to be a jerk.

My best moment as a mom? Loads and loads. I love it when my son falls asleep in my bed, and cuddles close. I love his his sweet baby breath against my cheek. I love it when he makes himself at home on my lap, as I sit on the couch and read or watch tv. I love it when he sees his father and me hugging and crying, "what about me?" comes running and joins us in a family big hug. I love it when he he expresses himself, and tells me that I need to listen to him because he has something to say. Yes, he boosts my ego. I am so proud of him. He has changed my life in every possible way, and even though there are challenges, I would not change a thing. My worst moments as a mom are better than my best moments before I was a mom.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2006 10:06 AM

I don't have kids of my own, but am about to become a stepmom to my fiance's 5yo son. Some of the best moments for me are when we do things that I did when I was a kid that he hasn't done before. Baking cupcakes, picking pumpkins, dying easter eggs, tubing down the river, anything to see him do/learn something new and realize that he enjoys it. But the absolute best moments? When I realize that the relationship between my fiancee and his son has grown stronger because I'm there to help out.

Posted by: soon to be stepmom | May 19, 2006 10:45 AM

Best step-mom moment? When I was the only parent with her at a church retreat, she wanted to go to a music festival that some of the kids were going to (and that we'd decided she wasn't going on) and she got a ticket from a friend, anyway. Not because of having to have the serious 'talk' about how she should have asked first - but because of the big hug afterwards, and the note in my (very first) Mother's Day card a few weeks later saying that even though I wasn't always the one to say yes, that she knew that I was always the one that at least thought about it before saying no. Being the youngest of four parents in her life (two originals, two step parents) and the only one without children of my own, it's been intimidating at times - but knowing that as she's becoming a teenager (three weeks and counting) that she respects me, even though I'm not that far away from teens myself, is enough to make my heart sing.

Posted by: Rebecca | May 19, 2006 10:50 AM

My best moment happens in the morning when my baby wakes up in bed next to me, orients himself, sees me and smiles. Of course, he cries a few minutes later when I'm too slow in getting up to suit him.

Posted by: Slugabed | May 19, 2006 10:50 AM

My best moment is when I pick my son up from his day care and he drops everything to run to me- "Mommy!!!" In one word he puts it all in perspective again.

Posted by: AWB | May 19, 2006 11:04 AM

My best day with my four-year-old son happened a month ago. After a very busy weekend, he pretended one Monday morning to be sick and said he wasn't feeling good. Usually, this does not work, because he usually is not sick. On that Monday (with nothing pressing at work), I decided to let him win. I called in and took the day off and spent a glorious day with my son. We played and read books and went out and just spent the best day together doing nothing in particular. Something we both needed.

Posted by: Isabelle | May 19, 2006 11:11 AM

I stood my 9.5 month old son up last night and reassured him enough that he took 8 steps over towards mom before stumbling. She cried.

I'm such a proud papa.

Posted by: MH. | May 19, 2006 11:59 AM

My absolute best mommy moment was when my daughter brought a picture home from pre-k. Under her drawing of the two of us was written "My Mommy is so happy that she adopted Me."

Posted by: Nanne | May 19, 2006 12:02 PM

My best moments as a Mom? Hmmmm. Do you have that much time and that much space??!! Each time I found out I was pregnant. Then to quote Roberta Flack, "The first time ever I saw [their] face ..." Instant, unconditional love. Then there was the first time I was called "Mommy." (And, it still melts my heart when they, at 21 and 19, still refer to me as "Mommy" when they're talking about me to each other.) Then there have been the times when ONLY I was the one they wanted (even now). Oh, and the many, many, many wet, sloppy kisses and tight hugs around the neck (the kisses have "improved," but thank God have not stopped). And watching them when they sleep. And, how can I forget, hearing their key in the door when they come home!! I know there are so many more, but I HAVE to leave room for others to share their moments. ;0)

Posted by: LuvMy2Sons | May 19, 2006 12:31 PM

To MH and Nanne:
You're going to reduce me to happy tears!!

Posted by: LuvMy2Sons | May 19, 2006 12:33 PM

How about it, Father of 4...for one day, let the MOMS share their best MOM moments? Why not join a forum for Dads?

Posted by: Kate | May 19, 2006 12:57 PM

My four year old son was in day care in the building I worked in and my six year old daughter was in day care at her elementary school. There'd been a party at my son's school and he'd been given a goodie bag of candy. He sat in his little car seat behind me going on about how this candy was just his and he wasn't going to share any of it at all with his sister. I agreed it was his and that he didn't have to share it. As we went in to pick up his sister, he spotted her in the distance and ran to her. "I got candy in school today, do you want some?" he crowed. I was worried this was a big set up to disappoint his sister, but when we got out to the car, he held out his bag to his sister and said she could have any candy she wanted. My heart couldn't have been bigger and I couldn't have been prouder of my little man.

Posted by: Annie | May 19, 2006 1:00 PM

My best mom moment has to be when I finally figured out what made my daughter tick. She is a high-maintenance kid --extremely smart and energetic, but also very sensitive, and when she is facing something scary, she reacts by trying to control everything, and becomes extremely upset when people don't do precisely what she demands.

A couple of years ago, we were in the middle of a rough time, and it seemed like every day ended with her becoming demanding, us refusing to be bossed around by a 3-yr-old with an attitude, and things spiraling up until they ended with her having a major tantrum and us practically yelling to be heard. I KNEW she needed love and understanding and support, but I also knew we couldn't give in to whining and tantrums, and I didn't know how to break the cycle.

Then one night I started thinking about my Granny. No one messes with Granny -- I remember as a kid, she was the one person I never, ever wanted to cross the line with. But she always, always made me feel safe and loved and special -- the things I want for my daughter. I thought, geez, how did she do that, especially with 9 grandkids? And I realized that in my entire life, I couldn't remember Granny once raising her voice. She has that kind of quiet authority that is far more powerful than yelling.

So that afternoon, when my daughter started to get demanding, I responded firmly, but quietly. When she got louder and more out of control, I got softer and calmer. By about the third time, she got a little quieter, and within about 5 minutes, it was all over -- no yelling, no tantrums, she was playing happily again. I realized that she desperately needed me to remain calm in the face of her anger/fear/frustration, to give her that sense of safety and security and love in the face of a world that she couldn't control. I don't know that I've ever been prouder of myself as a mom.

Posted by: Laura | May 19, 2006 1:19 PM

This is not a best mom story and may be appropriate for another issue. But, thank you Annie for ruining the beautiful postings. Why does Father of 4 have to join a forum for dads? These are best parental moments. This is not an exclusive club and this is where the fundamental "wars" come from. I thought this was a forum to share ideas with each other on how to balance our lives.

That having been said. One of my best mom stories happened Sunday. My 7 year old has not wanted to ride a bike at all and couldn't ride a bike -- Sunday I told him he might want to learn to do so by June so he could ride with his cousin who he is going to visit. So he asked me to get his helmet and bike out, hopped on and took off. Amazing what a little incentive will do!

Posted by: typical working mother | May 19, 2006 1:20 PM

correction -- I was referring to the post from Kate -- sorry Annie!

Posted by: typical working mother | May 19, 2006 1:21 PM

On a hot, nasty, sweltering August summer evening, I took my daughter up to the park a few days before her 7th birthday. I had taken her training wheels off her bike and if she was going to learn how to ride a bike at age 6, this was the last chance. So time after time I would have to squat down, run and push. At the gym they call them lunges, a painfull excersize. I encouraged her everytime she wrecked which was about 10 feet after I stopped pushing, by saying things like "Remember honey, anybody who has ever learned to ride a bike has learned how to fail... By failing, we learn... Just don't quit." After an hour, my legs got so wobbly, I could barely stand and my head was browning out from heat prostration. I was literally staggering all over the grassy field, squatting down, pushing..., and pushing my own self not to pass out and quit. Then it finally happened, on my last shove, I fell on the ground in complete exhaustion, and I heard those words of triumph about a hundred feet away, "Look Daddy, I'm riding a bike!"
Wow! "I did it!", I thought to myself, "I'm a real Daddy now!" And I just layed there and cried. If you were there, you wouldn't have noticed the tears. They blended in nicely with the sweat that poured off my face.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 19, 2006 1:22 PM

I've been a single, working mom for almost as long as my daughter has been alive - 2 years. I'm also in the middle of a very ugly, bitter custody dispute, where everything about my mothering has been put under a microscope and called into question.

Just last week - the day before Mother's Day, I realized that my constant desire to engage my daughter, every minute that she's with me, was depleting me, and stressing us both out. So. I did something I've never done before. Something that I would have previously considered a sin: She was napping on my bed, and it was time for her to wake up. Rather than prance in there with my usual forced-cheerful dog-and-pony show, I went and laid next to her and read a grown-up book to myself.

She woke up quietly and serenely. Then she crawled on top of me and laid on my back, put her arms around me and said, "Oh Mommy." It was then that I realized what it means (to me) to be a mother.

And my whole world changed in an instant.

Posted by: zomamma | May 19, 2006 1:36 PM

LoveMy2Sons, please post more of your best parenting moments. This blog is terribly lopsided with the horrors of family life and 1000 post on this subject wouldn't be nearly enough to balance it all out.
Kate, for your sake, I'll make this my last post until sometime next week. Everybody, goodbye, and have a nice weekend.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 19, 2006 1:37 PM

Looking back, I think the best mom moment I've had was deciding to go thru with an unplanned pregnancy. We already had one boy who is severely disabled and were just getting back together after a separation. Having a "typical" kid has changed our lives at least as much as having a special needs kid did. In many ways, our now-5-yo is more challenging than his brother but we finally have the honor of understanding parenting the same way the rest of the world does.

And to lay in the big one's bed after a bedtime story and kiss a curly head and a silky head and a curly head and a silky head... what could possibly be better??

Posted by: my 2 boyz | May 19, 2006 1:58 PM

Ohh, the timing for this is perfect. It has been one of those weeks and this really helped me remember why I love being a mom and a parent.

My best moments as a mom? The look. The look of love, trust, wonder, silliness, naughty, caught in the act, help me and of course the best, happiness.

Thank you all for sharing your moments.

Posted by: rbd19999 | May 19, 2006 2:01 PM

I think my best moment so far would be overhearing my two preteens telling a police officer that they can't ever do drugs because I'd kick their backsides until there was nothing left...and they were completely serious. So they were listening to the 10M lectures, huh?

Their absolute favorite moments, though, are seeing me go toe-to-toe with their elementary school principal when they were wrongly accused/mistreated. Granted, they also love that I support their interests and that I allow them to be somewhat independent...but it always comes back to, "You should have seen Ms. ______ face!!"

Posted by: Sarah | May 19, 2006 2:25 PM

This past Mother's Day my 3 year old son decided to potty train himself and started wearing underwear. YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He did pretty well his first day, too. It was the best Mother's Day present ever!! He was so proud of himself when he put on his Thomas the Tank underwear. It's moments like those, boy...

Posted by: FS Mom | May 19, 2006 2:27 PM

I'm with AWB on this; that moment when I open the door at my son's daycare and he comes barreling down the hall to give me a hug and a kiss makes any problems I had at work that day absolutely disappear.

Also, recently I had been under the weather and was sitting on the couch feeling appropriately miserable. My son came up to me and said, "Mommy, you OK?" I told him that I was sick, but I should be better after taking some medicine and resting. He went into his room, got his blanket and his favorite bunny, plopped them on my lap, patted my head, and said "Feel better, Mommy."

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | May 19, 2006 2:32 PM

My best moment so far came this morning. Every evening, we read three stories to my 3-yr-old son and then put him to sleep. I usually read the stories and my wife usually puts him to sleep. While trying to fall asleep, he recaps the day and all the fun things he's done. Yesterday, he went and played with a friend, went shopping with mom, went to a playground, and some other things. My wife told me this morning that when she asked him what was his favorite part of the day he said, "reading with Daddy."

Posted by: Working Dad | May 19, 2006 2:37 PM

One of my best moments with my two year old is when she combs my hair. I sit on the floor, she sits on the couch with a comb and asks me "You okay Mommy?" Because her hair is extremely thick, I always have to ask her that question. It sounds so much "cuter" coming from her!

Posted by: FuntobeaMom | May 19, 2006 2:49 PM

My best mom moment was when I got out of the hospital after almost dying from pancreatitis. I walked into our house and saw my baby asleep in her little crib and I just thought to myself thank God I made it. She kept me going the whole time, I just couldn't think of her being without a mother.

I was still too weak to pick her up, so my husband put her on my chest. She woke up and looked at me, I cried and just felt so incredibly happy that I had her and thankful that I was alive.

Posted by: scarry | May 19, 2006 3:05 PM

Wow, I am so enjoying these comments! What a pleasure to read.

The moments when I am proudest of myself as a mother are when I am suddenly able to tap into a previously unknown reserve of patience. I generally am a pretty impatient soul, and that is what I struggle with the most with my son, but every now and then I look at my baby and I can see how sad or nervous or unhappy or angry or whatever he is, and I just feel his emotion so strongly and realize how hard it is for him at the moment, and I'll suddenly be able to be so patient and calm, and it makes such a difference.

My happiest moments are like those everyone is describing, seeing the growth and the learning and the joy and love that he experiences. I think my favorite is waking up with him though - he'll nurse and nurse and then finally sit up and give the sweetest smile, and sometimes does this cute little shiver, and then lean back onto me...it melts my heart!

And Father of 4, keep it coming, I for one welcome you and the other dads.

Posted by: Megan | May 19, 2006 3:18 PM

I also like it when my daughter point to herself and says "I Irish" When she does that I know i'm doing somethign right in her world.

Posted by: scarry | May 19, 2006 3:30 PM

Had to smile with Leslie's comments about her daughter. I have one (10 years old) just like that and when she was littler she used to come up with the most wildest, colorfulest combinations- the more colorful the better. Unless the clothes were extremely inappropriate for the weather I just let her wear what she wanted. I think that's small stuff and I refused to sweat it. I'm sure some other parents thought I didn't know how to dress my child but it sure gave her a sense of empowerment. While she is not a girly girl, she loves fashion and makeup and hair stuff too and loved clothes, even as a baby.

Posted by: LaurelMom | May 19, 2006 3:30 PM

While I am not a Mom, I have to share a great Mom moment I had with my mother.

I will admit I was not a easy child (I was one of those kids who questioned eveything and needed to know the reason for everything) and so my mother always used to tell me how she acted when she was little. How she would help her mom in the kitchen, make sure to pick up her room, look after her little sister after school, did her homework on time, got good grades, help her dad in the yard. All of the good things she did as a kid.

I remember one night when I was in 4th grade, she started up again with what I thought of as the "how great a kid she was" stuff and I burst into tears. When she asked why I was so upset, I told her that she must think I am really awful since she was such a good kid and I was so bad. Why did she even love me if she was a perfect child and I was so not pefect. I remember the startled look on her face and then she said, "Oh boy, I wasn't perfect at all. Let me tell you some stories." We sat on the floor of my bedroom and she told me how she gave her sisters grief (just like I did with my little brother), how she didn't always turn in her homework (just like me), that she didn't get all As but did try her hardest, and that sometimes she wouldn't listen to her mom and dad (just like me).

That night in 4th grade, I learned that my mom wasn't perfect so I didn't have to be either. That is one of my favorite Mom memories.

Posted by: Chicago | May 19, 2006 3:34 PM

Thank you, Father of 4. I have so many wonderful moments and reading the other posts makes me melt, too, and brings back so many memories of my boys growing up. First of all, and I really don't mean to get heavy on everybody, but I also welcome the input of the fathers. See ... I was abandoned by my husband/my children's father and had to raise them pretty much alone with one 3 years old and the other one 5 months old after having been born extremely premature. I was very blessed to have my mother and two brothers who stepped up to the plate, but everything really fell on my shoulders. Too many homes are absent a Dad, so let's welcome them with open arms when they are as proud as the ones we have posting here. All of us are in this for the same purpose -- to love our children and do the best we know how to raise them.

Posted by: LuvMy2Sons | May 19, 2006 4:06 PM

Such great stories. So grateful also to hear from women who are not moms, and from dads. Father of 4 keep writing -- you remind me why men are so great despite how crazy they drive me (at times).

Posted by: Leslie Morgan Steiner | May 19, 2006 4:25 PM

two bests:
Going to my daughter's kindergarten class for her birthday and reading a book to the class with her on my lap. I read the book with lots of pregnant pauses, funny voices, and space for a group chime in. It was the look of pride on my daughter's face, like she had the most amazing mother in the world.

Another: Out to dinner with my 5 year old daughter, my husband, and the new baby. The baby is fussy so I take her off to the side to breast feed and get to watch my daughter and her father sitting in an restaurant, sharing an animated conversation - about what? Who knows? - my daughter is totally engaged and entertaining; well behaved doesn't do justice to the moment. A delightful companion.

Posted by: eo | May 19, 2006 4:49 PM

Like CentrevilleMom, my proudest moments are seeing my son become sympathetic to others' needs. One routine morning on the way to daycare, I was grumbling and upset about something, who knows what. Then 2 1/2 years old, he could tell something was amiss. We'd recently been shopping at Tyson's, and he'd spotted the Rain Forest Cafe, and ran over to investigate. Well, he was fine with the alligator until it moved; then, he ran screaming to my husband and literally climbed up him, accidentally scratching and drawing blood on Daddy's neck. We reassured him over and over, telling him "It's only a pretend alligator," but he cried all the way to the car. He did remember our advice though, because as I muttered under my breath about whatever it was I was upset about on the way to daycare, he reassured me, "It's only a pretend alligator, Mommy." Some of the best advice I've ever heard! So much of what we take too seriously in life is only a pretend alligator. And if I'm upset about something these days, he reminds me to follow my own advice to him when he's frustrated: "Take a deep breath, Mommy."

Posted by: niner | May 19, 2006 5:02 PM

I hope my four year old remembers dancing
around the living room to the "hoot hoot"
song. It was from the movie Grease but I
changed the title.

Posted by: shd | May 19, 2006 5:30 PM

I'm not writing for myself on this one, but rather I'm writing to claim a "Mommy moment" for my sister-in-law.

She is a work-at-home mom of 3 girls, ages 4, 2 and 5 mos. and on Mother's Day she (and bro.) became foster parents for a 7, 5 , and 2 yo. Then today, they found out they get them for 6 months. Oh, and her mom's cancer returned and she only has weeks, months at the most.

SIL has shown grace under fire in the most amazing ways. Teaching her oldest daughter to read, helping the older two foster children with their homework, providing care for 4 children under 4 all day and still making dinner most evenings. Spoke with her by phone yesterday, and she's cheerful, happy and incredibly patient with all of her little ones. Being a foster parent can be a challenge when the kids are well adjusted and are "used to" foster care, these three were an emergency placement and are completely bewildered and acting out. SIL is calm, controlled and very level headed and so, so incredibly loving, all the while dealing with her mom going through her final illness just miles away.

As much as I love my mom, SIL get's my Mother's Day award this year!

Posted by: Still in Awe | May 19, 2006 5:44 PM

I'm 9 months pregnant and feeling emotional so these posts are making me quite weepy. Like most of us I can't help but share a moment when my three year old made me proud (rather than me being proud of myself). A few weeks ago he was not eating well and was not quite himself, and I was concerned that he wasn't feeling well. I asked him how he was doing and to keep me posted if he felt sick. He looked at me gravely and said "You just worry about [my full name, including middle name] and your big tummy."

He makes us laugh and gives us so much joy.

Posted by: luckymum | May 19, 2006 7:14 PM

My best mom moment came unexpectedly when my one-year-old had to have major surgery to repair her cleft palate. It was her second surgery (the first, six hours long, occurred when she was six months old to repair her cleft lip).

The second time around my daughter was of course much more cognizant of her surroundings and I was given the option of walking her into the operating room and being with her as she went under the anesthesia. I was terrified. It would've been so easy to hand her over to the surgical nurse and let them deal with her. In fact, up until the last minute, even as I put on the scrubs, the mask and the little paper shoes, I didn't think I could do it. But I did.

I carried Emily into the operating room, laid her down on the table and stroked her arms and hair until she fell asleep. Even as I walked away I was terrified that I'd never see her wake up again - the illogical (and perhaps not so illogical) fears of leaving a child in a surgeon's hands.

She's fine. She's two. She will need more surgery when she's about five, but I will be there to walk with her right until the very last minute. And of course I'll be there for her when she wakes up in the recovery room.

Posted by: Jackie | May 21, 2006 11:52 AM

Proudest moment:

My 8 yeard old had just gotten out of the bathtub and getting dressed - she usually comes into our bedroom and we chat and "debrief" the day and talk about what we have to do the next day. She was upset about a friend of hers that didn't want to sit next to one of the special needs kids at lunch - a kid in a wheelchair. My daughter asked why and she said because he was "stupid" and made her feel "gross." By this time my daughter is crying because she told me the kid in the wheelchair is her friend too and it hurt her that her other friend made fun of him. When I asked her what she told the mean friend, she says she told her she couldn't sit with her at lunch anymore if she was going to made fun of her friends. I was never so proud. I cried with her - and told her people can be cruel but to keep standing up for her friends. She thanked ME for listening to her - what a great kid she is!

Posted by: CMAC | May 22, 2006 3:59 PM

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