Parenting, as we all know, is hard. Even (especially?) Attachment Parenting. I was reminded tonight of the wonderful encouragement in the article at askdrsears called The Payoff: Our Six Observations on how AP Kids Turn Out.
I love how they make the connection between how the Seven Baby B's become the Six C's of childhood (caring, compassionate, connected, careful, confident children and confident parents).
I had to smile at the statement regarding compassionate kids: "Attachment-parented (especially high-need) children are supersensitive to your moods. When you feel stressed, they act stressed. Eventually, this sensitivity becomes an asset, so that when you feel bad they act their best in order to help you feel better." Dacey, who once topped the charts of high-neediness, is now actually a pretty compassionate and empathetic little lady. My mother-in-law noticed right away that when Dacey picks up on a bad mood on my part, she says "Mama is not happy" and will generally tone down whatever shenanigans she was engaging in (which were usually contributing factors to Mama's not-happiness).
What I really love is what they write about the confidence that exudes from many attached kiddos (High-need children whose parents respond freely to their needs grow up as if "trust" is their middle name. They grow up learning that it is safe to trust others, that the world is a warm and responsive place to be, that their needs will be appropriately identified and consistently met. The trust they have in caregivers translates into trust in themselves).
Last Sunday night, we went to the Vacation Bible School program at church. Dacey had been glorying in VBS all week and she was just beaming as we took our seats in church while the familiar songs of the week played over the speakers. When it came time for the music part of the program, the music leader asked her class to come down to lead the crowd in the theme song for the week. I leaned over to tell Dacey that she could stay in the back with Mommy and Daddy or she could go up on stage to sing. She - the one who was eighteen months old before we could leave her in childcare of any kind, the one I thought might never pry herself off of my leg in unfamiliar situations, the one who stretched "clingy" to something beyond definition - she barely had the words "I go up on stage" out of her mouth before she took off running - running I tell you! - down the aisle and proceeded to sing the lyrics and dance the movements with gusto and bravado and panache. And confidence.
And then she was quite put out when she couldn't join every class on stage for every song.
Scenes like that coupled with articles like this one on The Payoffs . . . it all speaks to me of endurance and hope and endurance. (Oh, did I already say endurance? Evidently, that's where I need
endurance encouragement these days.) Anyone else ever just get weary? May the hope of the payoffs inspire renewed resolve within us. And may daydreaming of days to come not cause us to neglect the day at hand . . .