When I was a little girl, I used to race out of the double doors of my elementary school and onto the playground to grab one of the six swings before anyone else. I’d swing as high as I possibly could with not a thing to worry about in life–it was pure bliss. Each time I was swinging in the sunlight, higher and higher, smiling from ear to ear, I would long for the people I cared for most to be watching. I had this urge for the people that I loved to one day just be at the fence of my playground watching me in all of my glory, content and proud. It was just a simple, childhood wish that I never shared with anyone.
Years later, I was a teenager, hanging out with my cool friends in my cool clothes talking about cool stuff. Sometimes I would say or do something I thought was so grown up or intelligent, and in those moments, I wished that any of the people I cared for most would have been there to see me, basking in all my grown-up coolness.
When I had my first heartbreak, it was monumental. I wished the person I most respected were alive to help me, to see me, to witness it–my grandma. I talked to her everyday and never expected or received a response.
When my husband and I had our first child, there were moments when something beautiful happened to strengthen the motherly bond between myself and my daughter. Each time, I wished my mother or my husband could be there to witness it. To be proud. To smile.
After graduating from college, I had put my career on hold to start my family. Eventually, I began taking steps towards my dreams again–doing it all. There was a professor during my college years who had scooped me up and nurtured my talent into something I could never thank him for enough. I received a competitive position in my field and wished he’d been there to see it, to be proud of what he’d helped me accomplish.
Yesterday, while listening to Priscilla Ahn’s “Dream,” I had flashbacks to all of these times in my life when I wished that one of the people I cared for most had been there to witness me, in all my glory, doing something that I know would make them simply happy.
As I turned around–reminiscing, singing, cooking, content–I saw my son … watching me bask in all my glory. My unspoken wish finally came true and I realized, as a mother, that will continue to happen for the rest of my life: little eyes watching me, learning, taking me in, smiling.
It makes me beyond happy and proud to catch a surreal glimpse of that. And to reciprocate what I’d repeatedly felt throughout my life during simple everyday occurrences or monumental moments.
Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.