Cindy Metcalf

To say that becoming a mother changes you doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. It completely reshapes who you are and how you view the world, and it instills within you a profound and seemingly endless capacity to love. I know that it probably sounds cliché, but until you have a child of your own, you can never truly understand how strong the bond is between a mother and her child’s accomplishments.

As a mom myself, I can assure you that no person can ever feel as close to anything as I do to the achievements of my children.

The unending adoration I feel for my child’s personal accolades is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before—a limitless sense of caring I never in my wildest dreams knew I possessed.

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Before I had my son Kevin, I thought I understood what it meant to love. I really did. I have a wonderful husband, I was always close with my parents, I grew up with two siblings, and I’ve had many incredible friendships over the course of my life. But this sensation is something else altogether. The unending adoration I feel for my child’s personal accolades is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before—a limitless sense of caring I never in my wildest dreams knew I possessed.

It’s simply indescribable, the deep emotional connection that formed during those early years. When I held my son’s magnificent report card in my hands for the first time, or when I saw that twinkle gleaming in his first soccer trophy, I was immediately overcome with an extraordinary, overwhelming feeling of joy. And it’s like this amazing, unbreakable bond is renewed again and again every time I look at his gold stars, blue ribbons, first-place medals, and other indicators of critical praise. I still find myself surprised at how much unadulterated happiness, pride, and love I can feel.

Nowadays, rarely a moment goes by when I’m not thinking of my child’s accomplishments—they’re my whole world! When I’m around my friends or chatting with coworkers, it’s like they’re the only thing I can talk about. It truly is remarkable how fast you come to realize that they are what’s most important in life: those tangible pieces of evidence that signify how your child stands out from his or her peers.

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But if you believe that no feeling could ever compare, just wait until you have a second child. It’s easy to think that the bond you share with your firstborn’s accomplishments is so unique and so intense that it can never be matched, but then all of a sudden, a new, different set of achievements to cherish and treasure appears, and you find yourself loving them every bit as much.

With my second kid, it’s like my heart doubled in size. Having two children means twice the publicly recognized successes to love!

And as both my children grow up, that bond I feel grows along with them. With each new award, honor, or prestigious college acceptance, my adoration only intensifies. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I fully plan on holding every academic, athletic, and professional distinction of theirs close to my heart for as long as I live. Each will always be special to me, no matter what.

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I just can’t help myself. My children’s accomplishments are the greatest blessing I have and will ever receive. That is, until they get married and have little award-recipients of their own.