My four-year-old son has been doing some odd things lately. When he bought an entire quart of frozen yogurt with his own money, he ate all but the last bite—which he saved in the freezer for weeks. I kept asking, “Ethan, why don’t you finish your frozen yogurt?” He replied, “I like to have some left!”
A few weeks later, when I saw a bottle of flavored fizzy water (labeled with Ethan’s name) sitting in the refrigerator with just one sip left, I did not even have to ask. It reminded me of the time I called him downstairs to get ready for his final soccer practice. He cried, “But I don’t want to use it up!”
As I thought about my son’s behavior, I realized that what he really wants is something to hope for. Taking that a step further, that is exactly what I want and need as a mother. For example, I hope that someday I can leave the house without arranging for or paying someone to stay there for me. I hope that eventually I will sleep soundly at night without worrying that my little children might call out for me. At the same time, I hope the day never comes when I will not be needed.
I hope I will earn a doctorate degree before I am fifty. I hope someday my children will think, “Wow, our mom really did a good job raising us,” and I hope they will have their own children and understand why I get choked up every time I sneak into their rooms to watch them sleep. I am in awe of how much I love them.
QUESTION: What is something “you” hope for as a mother?
CHALLENGE: Find a way to bring a bit of hope to your children when they are feeling down.