You probably don’t know this about me yet, but I’m pretty laid back, and sometimes I let you do things parents aren’t “supposed,”to let their kids do. You jump on beds and couches, off window sills and chairs. You eat and drink on the floor, on the couches, in the bike, and sometimes when the light is good, you eat at the table. I let you dress yourself, (when you're actually wearing clothes,) except for maybe a few times a year when everything in my mind feels chaotic and it’s absolutely necessary for my aesthetically motivated eyes to take a break, and simply exhale. But, being ungrateful and unkind is a big deal to me, a hill worth loosing my cool on, maybe even a hill worth dying on. I’ve spent the last four years of your life encouraging and prompting you to apologize when you have behaved in an unkind way. I am determined to raise respectful and grateful humans, if it’s the only thing I ever do! BUT I had a rude awakening when I found out, you can’t “make” your kids do anything they don’t want to do. I suppose there’s a handful of people that would disagree with me on that, but probably because they haven’t met you, because I can’t make you do anything you don’t to do. At times it's made me look like a rotten, and out of control mom, and it’s made lots of people shake their heads, but I’m okay with it now. Besides there are beautiful and rewarding things flow from a strong will and I want you to be kind because you love yourself and others, not because you don’t want your mama to loose her cool again. It’s about your heart, and matters of the heart take time. Lots of time. Years. Years of daily conversations about how our actions, attitudes and words can affect others. Years of conversations that have begun with me apologizing to you. Years of learning about relationships, and what matters most in life. I’ve probably talked to you like I do my closest girlfriends, explaining concepts beyond your years, but I see now that it didn’t go over your head, it just needed time. The last month I’ve started to see the vibrant colors from all the tiny seeds I first planted. All that time, all those intentional conversations, they’ve made a difference. This morning you were pretty rotten and it was so upsetting to me that It was all I could do but hold back tears, but after mulling it over in your mind, all on your own, you came to me and said, “mama I am really sorry that I was so rude to you, I didn’t mean to be so ungrateful, I was just frustrated.” I hugged you and kissed you, and told you how proud I was of you. And then I exhaled a deep, happy sigh. These repetitive conversations, they don’t go unaccounted for, they are a map for you to navigate for the rest of your life.