Occasionally watching your children from afar allows you to view them with greater clarity. Like holding someone at arms length before drawing them nearer for an embrace, you get the chance to regard them more fully -- perhaps, more accurately -- than when they're too close. The distance brings clarity.
When you have young children, the lens of observation always feels close. Supervision is constant, engagement is incessant, guidance is ongoing.
Stepping back, as I did this weekend when my oldest daughter performed in a dance recital and a church Christmas pageant, afforded moments to observe her from a distance. Not from my typically close vantage point -- the view so close that it magnifies the small blemishes in her behavior or temperament -- but the vantage point that gives her space, that lets her grow, that sees her for who she is becoming.
Look at that child out there -- that girl! Look at that poise, that bravery, those abilities. She's out there for everyone to see, and I see her. I really see her.
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