For Zoetjes.
The print is one that I earmarked months ago for one of the last spots on the kids art wall and not just for the look..

 It’s depicts the way my kids make me feel. I mentioned it a bit in my last thoughts post (link) and it’s been on my mind a lot. Even more since a recent teachers meeting. I always wondered if my little girl was in any way like her mom being so outgoing, friendly, open and very natural when it comes to making friends. My little social butterfly to my own shy butterfly. But as it turns outs we’re butterflies none the less. Her teacher brought home what we share in our personalities.. wells. Friendships means something, something deep to her, even at her young age. To be there, to share, to be kind, always, and she assumes the same of her friends. But most four and five years old (most adults also) are not like that. Moody and ever-changing. Little comments like ‘I don’t want to colour with you’, ´you can´t sit next to me´ or ´I don’t want to play after school with you’ affect her and I can see the sting in her face.
 I dread Monday’s for that very reason. She shares a love of the moody, ego-centric personalities and so her bestie can be lovely and happy one moment and then pouty and sometimes downright rude the next. When on Monday she so callously said ‘I don’t ever want to play with you again’, it’s me who picks up the pieces of my little girl’s view of honour and worth of friendship, her heart. It takes hours sometimes for her to tell me what made her so sad or sometimes she just wants to wordlessly go straight home with the saddest face. A flippant comment that means little to another kindergartner means the world to the huge and deep heart that is my little girl. When I see her like that or even when playing together others take advantage of her as she divides a half a cookie into pieces to give an unknown child at the playground who appears as if by magic or when others act rudely or bossy in play (girls can be so mean, way before highschool), I feel it. I sense her feelings, when she looks for my hand and see it in her eyes.
 I feel it in my own soul and I want to cry because I understand so deeply the depth of caring she has. It’s a lesson I don’t know how to prepare her for because I never understood it. I am that heart in a grown-up’s body but still just the same. If you’re in, your heart is held in mine, always. If you´re not I will still try to keep you up even when I´m down. So how do I teach her that her heart is not always equally cherished, taking for granted instead of prized when I feel that humans are distinguished not by brains but by heart, by feeling, by depths? I can tell her that sometimes her friends want to play with other kids or are a bit upset and need a little time to cool down. I can always have a little treat or surprise ready on Mondays so she knows how special she is to me. But how do I explain when others are mean in response to friendship, take for granted feeling? To value less, what she holds dear?
If you knock her down at the playground, my nostrils flare because my instinct is to protect her like mama bear to her cubs. So when you look at but don’t see that ginormous heart my whole being is enflamed. Fiercely protective of what makes her unique and the sweetest person I have ever met. Sweeter because she will be there the next day with a smile and hug whether her friend is in a good or bad mood and will still share her cookie with the kid that runs away again after. Sweeter, where I grow quieter and hid mine even deeper. Every day I tell her not only you are beautiful but what makes her truly beautiful and that is heart. Heart that she wears on her sleeve and at the same time carries with so much value. I am mama bear but she is the fierce one. My role model and we are forever “samen meisjes”.
After I wrote this post and went looking for the picture of the mama bear print I found the second print. A Shakespeare quote, also from Sarah & Bendrix, that are the words to the feeling, that take me so many more letters to say. That one though, goes in her room, next to a mirror, so she hopefully always sees what I see.

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