Over the weekend my daughter, Kate, shared a story about Eve, my two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter. Kate’s husband had to work on Saturday, and Kate and Eve were spending the day at home. Kate had taken a slow approach to the day, so it was after lunch before she took a shower. Eve was playing quietly in the living room and watching a video when Kate left her, and when Kate returned, she found Eve asleep on the couch, all nicely tucked in with a pillow and a blanket, just as Eve’s baby dolls were tucked in on the other side of the couch. I commented on how smart Eve was to realize she needed to be nurtured with as much love and devotion as she shows her baby dolls, and that some of us take a lifetime to learn that lesson.
Since then, my mind keeps going back to the concept of nurturing self. As mothers, we often place ourselves at the end of the line. We feed our kids and husbands before we feed ourselves. If we’re smart and have structure, we’ll put our kids to bed at (nearly) the same time each night so that they get a good night’s sleep, and yet we often keep ourselves up much too late trying to catch up on laundry or dishes or paying bills or whatever. We struggle with saying “no” to our children no matter the issue, wanting to satisfy our child’s every want and need, but often sacrificing our own needs in the process.
I’m not a psychologist and I don’t have a wealth of knowledge on the concept of nature vs. nurture, but it seems to me that we must be taught to nurture. Maybe it’s intrinsic, but I think we need to have that behavior modeled for us if we are to be good at it. And so it follows, that my daughter Kate has been an excellent model and/or teacher to Eve. I am awed by the fact that this little girl, just a few short months ago considered a toddler, understood she was tired and nurtured herself with love and care. And I am incredibly proud that my own child has grown to be a loving mother, wise enough to model such things to her child.
In so many ways life comes full circle, and this story is another example of that. My sweet granddaughter Eve reminded me that sometimes we need to nurture ourselves. And it came at a very poignant moment in my life. Thank you, Eve.