Self esteem has little to do with constant messages of "You're great! You're smart! You're beautiful!" Messages from the outside often hit our outsides, then bounce off. If someone isn't there to stroke our egos, even for a moment, we fall prey to inner feelings of unworthiness.
So how do I help my sweeties feel good about themselves? Self sufficiency and service are two things that help their happiness grow from the inside. When I forget, I try to do things for them or fix their problems with things or people. This only sends the message that they are incapable and need me to exist.
Tonight, I am tired. I've started a new workout program at 5:45 a.m. and its a killer. My body feels shredded and I had playgroup at my house today. . . and my brain's probably fried.
Ladybug wandered the grounds with Taylor, her new duck, and found peaches dropping from the tree.
With proprietary pride in her discovery, she announced that she was going to make a pie. So, after cooking two dinners, I sat down to teach . . . not touch.
She learned to peel, slice, measure, roll, use a pastry cutter, pinch a pie crust, turn on a gas unit etc. etc. etc.
Partially through, she looked for an adult to finish her project. But Briz is a wonderful parent and refused. 2 1/2 hours later, three pies slip into the fridge and the last vestiges of creation are washed and wiped. "Whew!" she breathes. "That is a lot of work! Now I know why pies are so expensive. They take a long time!"
"You'll get faster each time you do it." I assure her.
The pies are not quite works of art, but they are just about perfect to taste.
Full of the confidence that comes from an inner knowledge that she is capable and clever, she is able to reach out. "Even though this pie is mine, I am going to share with my sisters." Then she offered each a bowl of glaze to lick.
Tomorrow, two pies will be offered to two special teachers. I hope they will see past the minor crinkles and see a monumental project that started in Ladybug's brain and ended with her own hands.
My body aches and my brain longs for escape in The Shape of Mercy (the fabulous book I am currently reading). Yet I gained from our lengthy learning process as well. I did not accomplish a pie, but a building block in my babies feelings about herself. That built confidence and happiness inside of me too.