"I'm an adorer." This is my daughter's college roommate speaking--several years removed from her college days. We are having coffee together--she has come east for a conference and had some spare time. After running down the ages and genders of her three children, Paterfamilias asks her what kind of parent she is. With a half-guilty, semi-embarrassed smile, she gives the "adorer" answer.
I know exactly what she's saying. I was too, I tell her. I thought my daughter [her roommate] was the jewel in the family crown and that our son was the most amusing person to ever walk, well, if not the earth, at least our small part of it. A friend--and I use that word advisedly--once told me that she and her family used to laugh (and not in a good way) about how I would gaze at my son when he talked and laugh so over-enthusiastically (in her opinion) at all his jokes. Oh well. maybe she didn't find her kids as delightful as I found mine. Clearly, she wasn't an adorer.
My point is that even if my delight in my children went overboard, it didn't hurt them then --and it doesn't hurt them now. I am still an adorer--of them and now of my grandchildren as well. (To my credit, if I am over the top on this, let the record show that I don't force tales of adorableness on friends.) Not that I don't have reality-check moments about my children, but I like to think that a parent who thinks her kids are the greatest may be blind but is also offering her kids a solid base to grow on. They can graduate from my home to a life lived independent of me and know that someone out there--someone who knows their messy habits and teeny tiny temper tantrums--thinks they are wonderful.
So adore on, I tell my daughter's roommate. There's nothing to feel embarrassed about.