Tags: Featured Story, Maternity, Parenting
I know my kids love me. They follow me around all day and all night, expressing their devotion to me.
It starts the moment I get up in the morning.
All I want in the morning is a shower. When I get up in the morning, I use the bathroom, brush my teeth, walk and feed my dogs (they have me well trained), and take a shower—in that order. I am a grouch--until I am clean.
Now, I have a fair amount of Mom Guilt about this phenomenon. But there it is: I am evil. I put my hygiene above my children. It’s like I cannot love them before Shampoo. (Before you judge, think of all the “But first, Coffee” mugs you see on the market. I’d like to think that my need to be clean is on par with the need of the rest of humanity to start their day with a cup of hot coffee. One of these days, I might just have a towel made that says, “But first, Shower.”)
And yet, for some reason I will never understand (or deserve), my children love me. They adore me. They follow me into the bathroom to keep me company. All I’m thinking is, “Can you get out?!” I don’t say that, so they will sit down, get comfortable, and tattle on each other or tell me a long, complicated story or ask me to solve some problem they’re having reaching a cup from the kitchen cabinet. All while I’m thinking, “Isn’t your dad IN the kitchen? Right Now?”
I know they love me because, by 10am, when I am starting to lose it and I sneak away to my room for a secret rendezvous with a certain Hershey bar I know, they find me.
I know my kids love me. They wake me up in the middle of the night just to cuddle. They let me carry their jackets when they get too warm. They never insist on picking up even one single thing, but, if given a choice, will let me do it every time.
They yell across the house for me to “Hurry! Come quick!” when the dog is in a cute pose. So I know they love me: They not only do not want me to not miss out on one floppy ear moment, but they want me to get in sixteen extra steps for the day. Especially if I am in the middle of a Zoom meeting. For work. And I’m speaking. Never mind that I’ve been looking at those cute, floppy ears since before my kids were born.
I know they love me. Otherwise, they wouldn’t fight bedtime so much. They can’t stand to be away from me even to sleep.
And when I finally do get them into their beds, they want me to stay with them until they fall asleep. Now that is love.
Of course they love me. I am the source of all good things. Things like milk. And allowance money.
When Ashley was little, she used to tell me, “Mom. You are my only one and true.” (Pretty sure she meant “one and only true love.”) Now she draws me pictures of my favorite animal, writes me “I Lov You” notes, and offers me the dandelions she picks. And sticks. And rocks. I treasure these because they are her treasures. And she thinks enough of me to give up her precious beautiful things.
So even though I sometimes try to escape for a moment of peace—or chocolate—I love that they love me.