Thursday, May 14, 2015

Their Love

When they were little, it was easy to tell.

My kids observed me with a focus so intense that it was hard to do much of anything away from their gaze.  Their razor-sharp vision made it difficult to hide.  They saw every frown, noticed every tear, and expressed joy to go with every smile on my face.




Their love was singular.

They grabbed my arms, legs, hair, ears, nose, and eyes.  Little hands went down my shirt and up my skirt in every setting.  They pawed at me as if trying to get inside again.  Their physicality towards me was endless, exhausting.

Their love was almost injurious.

Mommy, what are you doing?  I NEED IN!  their little voices would cry from outside the bathroom door.  Mommy, I had a bad dream.  I need to sleep with you.  Covers would be flung open to make room for little bodies pressed uncomfortably against mine for the rest of the night.  Wails came at the end of every nap when they realized they were all alone, fifty feet away from their mother, the source of their comfort, nurturing, peace, and safety.

Their love was urgent.

Their lives expanded.  They went to school and learned concrete things about the world outside our family.  They read and understood and made friends. They brought home gifts framed in construction paper, lists of things they loved about me.  I love my mom because she makes me soup when I’m sick.  I love my mom because she lets me watch TV with her.  I love mom because she is funny.


"Dear Mom, You are so nice to me.  I'm happy."
"You're as sweet as candy"
"My mom likes to laugh.  She makes me laugh when she says ROAR!!! [Roar!!!!]"

Their love was tangible.

They grew, and so did I.  Their other interests became more important than me, and they learned to love other people and activities.  At the same time, I explored new relationships, interests, jobs, and activities.  They noticed.  No longer was I just their mother.

Their love was admiring.

These days, I know my kids love me because they listen to my stories.  They want to understand.  They speak intelligently.  They ask questions without reservation.  They learn my lessons.  They respect boundaries and expectations.  They’re not perfect.  They don’t try to be.  They fall down and get up again.  They learn from mistakes and trust me to be there to watch them succeed.  They accept my forgiveness when they admit wrongdoing.  They forgive me when I step over the line. 

Their love is certain.

My kids love me because love is a part of who they are.  They have a capacity for love that sometimes I don’t understand.  They are gentle on their own.  They hold us each to standards they have learned, even when I have forgotten them. 

Their love is inspiring.




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This post inspired by:


Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #4: I know my kids really love me because…

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31 comments:

  1. I'm verklempt.
    This was lovely. I don't think I ever imagined all those years ago what it would feel like to have these full grown people love me and call me mom.

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    1. Oh, thank you, Shannon. I know I didn't imagine it, either. Not once.

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  2. Beautiful. I can only hope my kids grow up to realize this same thing.

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    1. Thank you! It's not all wine and roses, you know. But it is nice to know - really know - that the love is coming right back at you, and in ways that you have given it all those years.

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  3. I am in the phase where my kids love me so intensely, it IS injurious!
    Love this, Andrea.

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    1. Thanks, Alison! I think of earrings ripped from ears, little fingernails right in the eye... having children hurts all over.

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! I'm so glad you liked it. xo

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  5. Beautiful...... you brought tears to my eyes. I feel this love from my children too (mine are teens as well) and pray that I never do anything to mess that up the way my mother did to me.

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    1. My heart aches for people who don't experience love. I am glad that you can right the wrongs that were done to you; there is healing in loving your own children. Thank you so much for sharing. xo

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  6. I hope I have the same relationship with my 8 year old as you have with your kids. How lovely for you!

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    1. Thank you, Emily. I hope you do, too. There is a period of time when it is hard to tell when kids really love you (we definitely have those times here, too!). My hope is that by giving it consistently, it will come back.

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  7. I am crying. This is beautiful. I love it so much. I mean SO MUCH!!!! I'm right here in this stage with you as my kids become teens and tweens and well, this just is so right on. Thank you for writing it and sharing it.

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    1. It's hard, this phase, isn't it? Angela, I'm so glad you are here with me. Thanks so much for your encouragement and for "getting it." :) xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much, Jennie! That's a high compliment. I appreciate it - and you - so much. xo

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  9. So beautiful. I think I'll tuck this in next to my heart.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer! From my mom heart to yours. <3 <3

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  10. Oh my heart... You took the words right from my soul. And now I am teary. Loved this...xo

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    1. Thank you, Sherri! Moms share so many of the same experiences. It's nice to know when we've hit upon one that all of us nod and say, "Yes." :)

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  11. I hope your kids get to read this someday. So lovely.

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    1. When I read this comment I thought - I haven't even shared this with them! They should read this! Then I thought about the vague response I'd get - they are t(w)eens, after all. I'll catch them on a slow day. Thank you, Leigh Ann. xo

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  12. Oh my what a wonderful post. This was just extraordinary, I felt everything that you were saying and right now I am currently in the stage of "Covers would be flung open to make room for little bodies pressed uncomfortably against mine for the rest of the night." stage I am excited to experience what you are now. Not because I want them to grow older but because I am loving the relationship that my mom and I have now. and I want that with them. (also I love your profile picture and your tag line "I mess up and then write about it." Brilliant.)

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    1. Audrey, thank you! You are such an encourager. :) It's so great to continue a loving relationship with your mom through adulthood, isn't it? I have that, too. You really made me think that we are laying the foundation for richer relationships in our own lives when we raise kids who love us. Which is a whole other topic. I love that. xo

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  13. Sure, that's fine. Go ahead and make me cry. Whatever.

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    1. It's what I do. Making my peeps cry, one post at a time. Love you, Elaine! You make me smile. xoxo

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    1. It's so nice to have a friend who knows just what you're saying. Thanks so much for being here, Julie. xoxo

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  15. How did you just so perfectly capture the ever-changing growth of a child's love? We are pushing into big kid and tween phase and already so much is different from those babies who BEGGED to picked up around the clock.

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    1. Oh, thank you! Things sure are different now, aren't they? Whoever said that "with kids the days are long and the years are short" knew what they were saying. xo

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