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I had a very touching moment with my eldest son last night. There was a rather nasty pile of dirty dishes in the sink late yesterday afternoon and I decided to climb in and get them cleaned. A little while later, my boy came to me and said: “Thank you for washing the dishes Mom.” Thud. My jaw hit the ground. Never, ever, not once in his life has he done that – expressed any kind verbal appreciation for some chore I’ve done in the house. Now this may not seem like a big deal to most people, but those of you who know us will understand that this was HUGE! It completely melted me, tears welled up in my eyes and I just tingled all over. That was a major deposit into my emotional bank account =)

Sometimes, just a few simple words or a small action can make all the difference in how we relate to people, don’t you think?

Take Sir G for instance – there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t tell me how beautiful I am, how sexy I am, or how amazing I am.

And my Mom – she helps me so much every day, in so many, many ways, and she’s just told me that she’s been reading my blog and she feels proud to be my mom.

Then there’s my Dad – he regularly checks in with me to see how I’m coping, he sends me links to pages on the internet he thinks I’ll find useful in my life and he constantly reminds me that I am stronger than I think.

Each person’s small acts of giving adds up to help build trust and create a safe zone where I feel comfortable revealing more of myself to them and the relationship is in turn strengthened.

Of course, the giving and receiving should balance out over time and that’s something I’m becoming increasingly aware of. Some people in my life have made huge withdrawals and gone into the red. I find myself trusting these people less and less as they take more and more.

I know I have done the same in the past and I need to take a long hard look at where my relationships with important people in my life stand and see where simple, sincere acts of kindness and showing of appreciation on my part can make their lives better and strengthen our bond. There are some loved ones who stick by me through very dark times, times when I know I dish out some awful stuff. Yet they never judge me, criticize me or blame me. They have always and continue to show me love and support. I think I have a lot of catching up to do …