My dad used to finish all of our phone calls with “make me proud”. My response was “I always do.” It was true and what fueled my focus. I wanted all the accolades from best grades to most delicious dinner in Milwaukee. As I get older, I realize making someone proud looks a little different.
I’m writing this post on one of the first days of school so the home office is finally quiet again. Too quiet? Maybe. It’s far enough away from the summer daze (misspelled on purpose) that I’m looking back at the Fridays spent with my girls with fondness. On one of our last ones, we took the bus downtown, wandered around the Third Ward, and ended with fancy drinks (AKA Sprite) in the Pfister lobby lounge.
While there, a woman started chatting with my daughters. She asked what the occasion was for our visit and my kiddo quipped, “all summer we do Fun Day Fridays with my mom. We do really fun things and have really fun treats.” She dang near burst out of her seat with pride when she looked from this lady to me, beaming with a huge smile on her face. Oh, to bottle that emotion!! To see that look on my girl’s face filled my soul.
You don’t need me to wax on about these special moments and how fleeting they are. Instead, let me tell you what you don’t see. I was in a super funk that morning. I hadn’t put away the laundry from the night before. The breakfast dishes were still in the sink. I immediately got a stain on my dress while putting on makeup that morning. Nothing was working.
Until it did. For the price of one bus fare, a shared Shake Shack lunch, and those Sprites, I had a solid five hours with my ladies. We laughed and told jokes and made memories. It was so worth it.
Turns out you your loved ones are proudest of you when they get your time. Not when you strive to be the next Mrs. Fields or have the cleanest home. Maybe they will cheer on your new running goals or tell you you look sharp in your suit on the way to the big presentation. But their proudest moments will be when you can focus attention on them and the other things you love.
All that to say, whatever you can take off your plate to make room for these kinds of moments, do it. If we can make dinner for you, great. If vacuuming or answering that email can wait until tomorrow, let them. Whether its your kids, your spouse, your best friend, or your parent, if you can give them your full attention for even just a matter of minutes, they will be so proud of you.