For a month now, my daughters have been showering me with compliments. They say it out-loud everywhere: “You are such a good mom! You are the best mom! I love you so much.” They say this at the pool, in the grocery store, at church, out on a walk… I am glad they appreciate me. For all the little things. I can’t take credit for it though. And I have been feeling guilty that I don’t relish in this exuberant expression of love and appreciation. I mean, it’s nice but it doesn’t move me to my core.

Firstly, because what I do now is natural. I do say yes more to them and I am generally happy. It just made me do some soul searching about the past year. How we felt disconnected and why.

The girls compliments don’t quench a thirst. They are nice, very nice, but I don’t crave their affirmation. Talking to Conrad about this, he asked me if I am afraid that it’s a negotiation technique. That they compliment me to get something in return. And the answer is no. That has not been my experience. 

The self reflection put me ease. I concluded that I am simply leveled. And just like my daughters’ harsh words or erratic emotions don’t shake me to my core, so is with the compliments. They don’t influence too much my actions or feelings. I appreciate them, I try to learn from them, I accept them but there they stand, freely offered gifts of shared emotional insight.