"Push, push ..."
We moms get those words of encouragement before our babies are even born. And we, in turn, spend years passing words of encouragement onto our children.
"Come on, you can do it!" we say, as they take that first step, only to watch them fall on their padded behind time and time again.
Fall seven times, stand up eight. - Japanese Proverb
We pull those new words off their lips as they learn how to speak. We tell them to have a great day as they trot off to kindergarten that first day. We implore them to be brave when going to sleepover camp for the first time.
We try to soothe their broken hearts with just the right words as the tears flow when first love disappoints.
The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.
- John Vance Cheney
Passed over for cheerleading? Volleyball team? A coveted part in the high school play? The No. 1 college choice?
Disappointments pile up through the years, and each time, we must find the strength to help our children through those times. Often it seems harder for us to watch them suffer than for them to go through the pain.
If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
- Vincent Van Gogh
And then they grow up. And the disappointments can get bigger and bigger. But even when our children are adults, they need those words of encouragement from us - perhaps even more. We can never stop encouraging them, and they will never stop needing us to.
We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.
- Kenji Miyazawa
While they may love a good meal or some unexpected financial help, they will always welcome a shoulder, a hug and a few words of encouragement when they're having a dark day.
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. - Author Unknown
- Phyllis R. Sigal is design editor at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and designer of Ohio Valley Parent. She is the mom of Amanda, 25, and Leland, 23.