A woman at Tim's work recently told him how impressed she was with me as a mother. She complimented, "I've seen her a couple of times, and she is great with the kids. She is so calm. It's like nothing gets to her."
(Hahahaha. She doesn't know me at all, does she?)
But I digress. Tim told me he responded to her like this: "Yes, she is very good with the girls. But she hasn't always been that calm. She's really calmed down with time." She didn't believe him when he told her how much I used to struggle with the simplest things, but he finally just asked her to trust him that I've come a long way in a short amount of time.
When he told me, I got the biggest smile and did a little half-yelp because a full yelp is completely not my style, and I thanked him for telling me because it is very rare when someone takes the time to tell me they've seen me grow up as a woman and as a mother. It is especially rare to hear it from my husband. I believe he thinks I must already know it so he doesn't have to say it from time to time, but man, is it good to know that he sees all I'm trying to do and become.
Tim, you see, is a natural at this whole fatherhood thing. Of course, he has his moments where the girls get to him--like when Mya won't stay in her chair during dinner or when one of the girls chews loudly with their mouth open or when no one will take a bite of their dinner (apparently most of his issues happen at dinner time)--but he has always been a very good father. He has always had a way of calming the girls down in ways I have not always understood. (I have usually been the run the kids up the stairs in their room while frustratedly telling them why they need to be in time out for the rest of their lives kind of girl and he has always been the walk slowly to where they are sitting and ask them if he can talk to them and wipe their tears away kind of guy so you can see who they prefer more in sticky situations.)
And it hasn't always been easy to always feel like a second-rate parent to him. In fact, sometimes it makes me very mad. But then I get over it because I hate tantrums more than just about anything, and if he has some special power to diffuse them then so be it. And my anger turns to admiration rather quickly, and I just fall for him over and over again because he really is the man of my dreams, and he proves it nearly everyday.
But hearing him tell someone else that he recognizes how far I've come and that he appreciates who I am as a mother made my heart really happy yesterday. I do feel like I am better at this whole motherhood thing than I was four years ago. (I must credit aging children for most of it.) I really love my girls. They are out of their fetching minds most of the time, and they usually drive me nuts by about 3pm, but man, do I love being with them, and each day I feel like they really love being with me too. And that's the best compliment of all.