I’m questioning decisions I made as a parent.

I made a decision early on in my child rearing years not to say, “I’m proud of you” to my kids. I wonder in that decision. Sounds heartless to my mind but my heart whispers ‘heart-full’.

Whenever I heard that as a child a part of me thrilled and a part of me felt owned. A part of me felt there was some sort of measure from my parents that it was best for me to live into. That when I lived into that I was doing well and good – by them.

I used it a little while back when texting my stepson – it felt awkward. Not me. And that nagging voice in the back of my skull said, “You’re so heartless because you don’t know that you even feel that way.”

I love witnessing my children. I love witnessing decisions they make – in my eyes – good and not so good. The not so good ones shred me inside some but I behold them as part of their own questing. I love hearing their points of views and what they discover as true for themselves. I find myself inside agreeing and disagreeing. Trying to keep my disagreeing to a minimum unless asked. Because it is their questing – not mine. And I don’t know what is right for them. I only know what I think is right and I know that is limited to my own experience.

So i feel caught between a rock and a hard place. Because I want my children to know I hold them, each and every one, strong and dear in my heart and being. And yet I experience a strong sense of autonomy. Saying, ‘I’m proud of you’ has always felt awkward to me. Perhaps it would be more Amanda to say, “I am in love with you and your journeying; I am in awe of your discoveries; I am humbled to be able to be with you in the way that I am; and…I don’t know if that means I’m proud of you.