I think I’ve decided that maybe the most important thing in parenthood is simply showing up.
It could be picking your child up from school or daycare. It doesn’t matter if the afternoon is going to be chaos or if there are 101 things to get done. In those moments your child comes out of the classroom door and they spot you, their face is all the thanks you need. Even if it’s only for a second, there’s always a smile that says I’m happy to see you.
A sports game, or up on stage, school assemblies, even a bench in the park—you watch from the sidelines. They search and they spot you and they smile, and they’re proud that you’re there to cheer them on.
They might be hurt at school and waiting for you to come and pick them up. Their little face lights up just a little bit even though they’re not feeling well because they know you’ve shown up. You’ve come to make them feel better.
As they get older, showing up might look a little different, picking them up from a friend’s because it’s raining and they don’t want to walk. Or the bus seems like too much effort today. They see your car pull up, and there’s that smile.
Even now, as a mom myself, I know how important it is to always show up even when your kids are older. Because when my mom shows up, I see it.
Maybe she’s taking the kids, maybe she’s come unannounced for a cup of coffee and a chat, maybe she’s dropping something off—yes, her grandchildren light up. But what you don’t see in the background is my smile. She walks through the door, and my kids run and hug her. I stand behind them not even realizing my smile.
There she is. She’s shown up. It doesn’t matter what she’s shown up for, just that she still does it. And naturally, my face lights up on its own. Because as a mom we know that nothing is better than just showing up.
So next time when you show up for something, whatever it may be, take a second to notice that smile, the sweet little face beaming back at you. Because it’s one that’s priceless.