The day I failed my son

Here is my story of the day I failed as a mother.

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  • Dear Son,

  • I failed you yesterday! I didn't see you.

  • I did not SEE you all day – and now I miss you terribly, probably as much as you miss me.

  • I am sitting here thinking back on the day that passed, and I realize that I went an entire day without truly seeing my boy.

  • The morning was hectic, as mornings tend to be. We had synchronized meltdowns by the three youngest, a wardrobe failure due to syrup drippings and two severe cases of separation anxiety. The school uniforms were laid out the night before. You got up, dressed and ready without needing to be prompted. Your breakfast was prepared and served while I was on auto-pilot. Same breakfast, same routine without any upset. At least I did make sure you were fed and dressed, but I went through the motions with no collision or further interaction.

  • You are my old soul – without instructions you see the chaos around the house and intuitively you navigate through the morning without standing out of the crowd. But don't, please don't ever do that again because now I realize that I didn't get a chance to connect with you.

  • I picked you up from school (good thing I remembered that!), but it was raining and the process was rushed – not our usual oasis, our stolen moments to catch up on your adventures in education.

  • I worked late yesterday, at least later than normal. By the time I got home it was past dinner time, homework was missed and had to be done urgently before bed time. You and your brother quietly went off to bed. I love that you are SO "good," but please don't blend in. Raise your hand, cause commotion, throw a fit – do SOMETHING because I went an entire day without really truly seeing you.

  • I tell you to FOCUS all the time. I desperately beg you to pay attention at school, to mind your teacher and listen to her every word. Yet, I did the exact opposite to you yesterday. I went through the day without truly being present in the moment. Admittedly, I did not focus on you.

  • If something had happened to you, my last memory of you would have been blurry and I would not have known what clothes you were wearing. I know for a fact that I did not comb your hair.

  • For this, and so much more, I apologize. I failed you for a day and this was quite possibly not the first, but it will be the last! I can't undo and I won't get a do-over. Instead, I have a chance to prove to you today that I will not let another day slip out from under us.

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  • While your brothers are melting down and having tantrums, I will recognize you for "going with the flow." I will look at you and I will SEE you – every bit of you. I will notice when your glaze turns inward and you start to internalize a situation. I will pick up on your silent cues and give you a reassuring look, smile or hug – which ever the situation calls for.

  • I am here for you. I mean, I am truly HERE – present in the moment for you and WITH you.

  • Your Mama in the Now (in the RIGHT NOW)

  • Editor's note: This article was originally published on Mama in the Now. It has been republished here with permission.

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Tove Maren is a Danish-American mother of four boys, ages 8 and younger. She is a freelance writer and translator. Tove reports live from the trenches of motherhood where she writes about all things related to life love, laughter and LEGOs. You will find her encouraging, as she empowers you to parent by intuition and with confidence.

Website: http://mamainthenow.com

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