It probably doesn't occur to me often enough to tell the people I value just how much I do value them. In specific moments, when someone steps into the breach or does something heroic, of course I am thankful and I say so, but often it's the constant 'being there' that goes unmentioned, despite being so appreciated.
Last night I spent an enjoyable hour on Twitter following and participating in The Adoption Social's Awards Evening. Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes reading that. An awards evening on Twitter? Seriously? That's what you do of an evening these days?!
Well, yes, I don't get out much. In fact a lot of single parents don't get out much. Although I have lovely people who will babysit for me so that I probably get out more than most, the fact remains that most evenings, once the children are in bed, it's just me on my sofa with my books, my baby monitor, my TV and my laptop.
So yes, I was excited about this Twitter event, and I don't mind if you judge me!
The Adoption Social had asked the twitterverse first to nominate, and then vote for people in various categories. The categories encouraged us to think about who was kind, who was there for people, who was funny, who was encouraging. It made me take time to think about who had made an impression on me, not just on social media, but in real life as well. It was a prompt to think through all those who have encouraged, strengthened, supported and put up with me over the past five years!
These awards were nominated by peers, were voted on by peers, and the prizes were the congratulations of peers (along with a fair sprinkling of emoticons - I must work out how to do those!). In case you're wondering, I did win one, and it does mean something to know that people you respect value something that you do, however small.
So, friends, on social media and in real life, let me take a moment to award you a virtual prize too. None of us can do it all alone. Whether through a meal made, a kind word, heroic babysitting, a smile, a laugh, a listening ear (or Twitter or Facebook account!), you have made my fostering and parenting journey not only possible, but wonderful. I hope to remember to be a bit more appreciative in future, and if you find it cheesy, I'm not sorry!