Parents should make their kids eat dirt

People love you. And that’s the problem. They want to protect you, coddle you, hold your hand to the finish line. We need more of those parents that let their kids eat dirt every once in a while, and give them a high-five when they fall down.

When I moved to Madrid, my mom couldn’t understand why. She was against the decision from the beginning. We would argue, and I would feel the doubt in her mind that I could make this dream of mine a reality. But I did.

Then she would do everything in her power each month to rearrange her schedule, so she could visit me (she’s a flight attendant). When she was able to get a trip to Madrid, she would buy my groceries for that week, I’d sleep at her hotel room for the night, and enjoy the breakfast buffet the next morning.

Then the most amazing thing happened.

I was stabbed in the back (metaphorically). By the people, I once called family in my new city. My new world did a 360 in the worst way possible. I was stuck living in a war zone. There was nowhere to decompress after 10-hour workdays. My psyche was exhausted and depleting. I felt I had nowhere to escape, no one to turn to.

But I would call my mom almost every day. And she would listen. Listen and give me advice, and by the time the phone call was over, I’d feel better for a little while.

When I made it through my lease, and 3 months of hell, I returned home.

My mom took me back with open arms. We’d be out, and people would ask, “what made you come home? I thought you’d want to stay there forever!”

My mom would quickly interject and say, “I just missed her too much!”. By doing this, she took the burden off my shoulders that made me feel like I was a failure for leaving after only a year. She never got in my face and had her “I told you so” moment.

She let me go for something, fall, eat dirt, and then dust myself off and find my way back home.

Then she hugged me and never made me feel bad for any of it.

I wish you a mom like mine in your life. And if you don’t, I wish you the courage to defy judgments, eat dirt anyways, and then get back up again.

Originally published at

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