Yesterday, I got an award. An unprompted, adorable token of my daughter’s love and affection. She was playing in her room while I was getting dressed in mine. She bounded in, because that’s how this child moves.. all the time… and she said, “Here, Mom. You get to wear this.” Out of her hand came a blue, fuzzy wrist band (think tennis player) adorned with a Pokeball. This was once her brother’s prize possession, but it had now been relegated to the dress up bin. S didn’t think this was a discarded, unimportant item and she told me as much when she said, you get to wear this because you are “the best mom ever”. I slid that puppy on, in all it’s bright blue glory and I wore it for a while. A special energy flowed through my arm and straight to my heart and quieted those critical thoughts that creep in every so often. Squashed now are those little bleeping comments to myself…You don’t do enough for the kids. Maybe you need to plan better, hire someone else to teach them. You said you were going to be a happy Mary Poppins kinda mom, always playful and full of energy, but you aren’t. Now you are tired all the time and busy. The kitchen needs cleaned, the yard mowed, the groceries put away and the clothes folded. Zip it, oh unpleasant thoughts. I now have an award. One lovingly handed to me by an offspring that sees my love and affection, feels cared for and safe, and doesn’t realize how timely her token was. Thank you sweet girl. The Pokemon wrist band will not make it back to the dress up bin any time soon. It will stay on my dresser (or on my arm) to perk me up when I’m feeling down and as a glowing reminder that I’m being observed and mental notes are being taken. I hope, many moons from now, this gal will still feel the same way.