Yesterday my oldest daughter got a Student of the Month award at school for “sen bon effort en lecture” (good effort on reading) at her monthly school assembly. Her teacher emailed me after 9:30 pm the night before (we working parents LOVE these last second surprises…) to let me know that she’d be getting an award. I told the teacher one of us would come if we could. Thankfully I already had a meeting close by a few minutes after the assembly would end. So I brought the practicum student (who was joining me on my home visit) along on a quick detour to my daughter’s school were I was just in time to watch her proudly accept her award.
After all the awards were given out I went to give her a hug. She was so surprised to see me and in that moment I was so glad that I had been able rearrange my day enough to see her get her award.She mentioned her award again today and how her teacher must have noticed how hard she has been working on her reading. It made me think of how important it is for us to take the time to notice, to see one other. Those three words made a big difference to Z yesterday.
I see you.
I thought of this as I reflected back to last Saturday when I dropped an entire travel mug of coffee all over the change room floor as I rushed to get my youngest changed for her early morning swim class. As silly as it was, I had to hold back the tears and while I stood there trying to figure out how to clean up the mess, an older woman looked at me sympathetically. She told me she would get the front desk to clean it up. She told me it was OK-that she hoped my day would get better. And some how, because she had taken the time to see me, to support me in such a simple way-it did get better.
I see you
In my work with families over the years, a lot of what I end up doing with parents and caregivers is really just taking the time to listen. To see them and acknowledge their hard work, to empathize with their struggles. A lot of the time I cannot make things better but just the knowledge that someone notices them can provide a lot of strength for a new day.
I see you.
So I have started to try to slow down and take more of those moments with intention. When a co-worker is having a bad day, I want to take the time to notice and care. When my daughters or husband do something they have worked on, take time to let them know I notice. Tell a friend I notice how hard they try to be present with their children, or even that they look really nice today.
How many times do we notice something but do not bother to share those positive thoughts? What if instead of focusing on what needs improvement we spent more time acknowledging the good?
What if today, we all practiced those three words…
I see you.