Parenting Guru: When your child thanks you in spectacular fashion

Parenting. As mamas we work endlessly, tirelessly, and often thanklessly to do the very best we can for our children. And we don't mind. It comes naturally, driven by love. We don't necessarily expect gratitude from our children. I like to think of parenting as a pay It forward gig. I will give everything I am able to my daughter Sarah, and what I expect in return? Is for her to give everything she is able to her own children someday. That's it.

But then sometimes? Our children surprise us in delightful ways.

I turned 40 on New Year's Day. Forty is a big deal, or at least it is for me, and Sarah knew I felt this way about it. So what did she do? She collaborated with my parents, and threw me an absolutely amazing surprise party.

I had not the slightest inkling this was happening. To say I was surprised is quite an understatement. Sarah gathered together friends from all corners of my life. Women I have been friends with since middle school. Friends from work. Friends from graduate school. I kept looking around the room and seeing the faces of people I love, all together, and it was absolutely, overwhelmingly, wonderful. And my daughter did this for me.

She messaged my friends on Facebook. She took my phone while I was in the shower and jotted down numbers. In one instance she contacted a former boss of mine to get the number of a former co-worker she knew I would like to have there.

Sarah is smack-dab in the middle of middle school. She turns thirteen soon. If we go to the mall together, it is understood that she absolutely positively cannot be seen with me. And I don't mind that; I remember that age. I expected that. I did not expect such a wonderful display of love and gratitude from her. It was truly one of most special moments I have ever had as a mama, or as a woman, for that matter. The picture does a better job of describing the moment than I ever could with words.

Have your children ever surprised you in a wonderful way? Please share!

Clare Yeakel, a single working mom and MBA, is a Shine Parenting Guru and a Shine Get It Guide Guru. Irreverent, funny and up for anything, Clare lives life with passion. She loves deeply, laughs often, and is a devoted single mama to her beautiful daughter. She blogs regularly on parenting and dating on Shine. You can find her at Life on the C Train.