As I held my daughter's hand this weekend on a long car ride, my heart overflowed with thankfulness for her smile, her sweet personality, her presence, and most of all her life.
Every day I look at the woman I am, can I be better for her? I want to be the best mother in the world, I want B to become a child who is secure, who feels loved, who knows her place in this world, and knows where her true home is.
It is the cry of my heart to love my child despite all else in a way that she will know that love intensely.
How often do we hear, "She knows I love her, she knows." But, does she? REALLY, does she? I see parents berate their children, that does not speak love. Discipline does, but harshness does not, and my heart breaks. Does she see it in your words, your tone, your actions?
Show her. Show her she is worthy, show her she is wonderful, show her she is love.
There have been so many wonderful songs out over the past year about love, who am I kidding, there is a new song every day about love, right? (I write them at the drop of a hat, "I love you doodle boodle, you're my little poodle," unique... I know.) I wrote recently about my favorite song by Sanctus Real, but I just heard this little ditty, by JJ Heller, where the Hell(er) have I been since August? (Other than stuck at home with a new babe, nap training, changing/washing diapers, attempting to keep a clean house, and a blessed, well fed husband.) What Love Really Means It is called What Love Really Means, and I LOVE it.
I'm sitting here with headphones on because I have the song on repeat, my heart is so full. Oh how I pray Brooklyn knows the love that pours out of my heart for her, the desire to teach her, to lead her, and most of all to cheer her on. Months ago she filled diapers, cried, cooed at times, slept, and ate, a lot. Yet, I just loved her, because she is my sweet love, my little girl, created perfectly to join this little family. Has she done anything to "earn" my love? Certainly not, she was born, and love was.
I am a lover, it is simple. I hug, I touch people, I intently listen to them, I try to know their hearts. I know how I love, and how I feel loved. I know how my husband feels loved, and although it is quite similar to how I feel loved, it still isn't the same. He could not have married the more perfect woman for him, a cheerleader to give him words of affirmation he so craves. And I, a woman who needs quality time, have been given a man who will listen to me for hours, who will lay in bed at night and share dreams, stories, and snuggles with (even though he'd rather go right to sleep). Love looks so different to every one.
I'm thinking of my nieces and nephews and how I think they may feel most loved, but I can't be quite sure. I can tell that one enjoys quality time, he enjoys a good conversation or a game he can share. The biggest girl is a completely quality time love as well, stories to tell, and so much life to share. The next gal is completely physical touch, if that girl could sit on a lap while standing, she would, if she didn't get embarrassed from holding hands, she still would curl her fingers into mine. The little man is tough, maybe the biggest lover of the bunch, physical touch pours out of this boy but he has such pride on his face with words of affirmation, I'm still learning his love language, but kiss him every time I can. And the littlest lady above my own, I'm still trying to decipher, but with about 99.9% accuracy, I'd go for physical touch, because that girl loves to love on people and dogs. :) And the littlest ones... I'm still not sure. It's hard to tell when you don't live day in and day out with them, but I think the littlest dude is a quality time kind of a guy right now, but we'll see where he is at in a year. :) And clearly, my newest niece is all about those smooches and smiles! :)
We are all so different, we all have such unique needs, and as a mom, I have to take the time to see that in my child. I never want her to feel a void because I did not love her like she needed me to. If she is not a physical touch child, and that is how I choose to show her love, she is missing out on the best love I can offer. I need to learn her, and give her that love. Much like I have to with my husband, and so far, I've got a quality time, physical touch girl... because much else she doesn't get! :)
I'd encourage you to learn the love languages of those around you, there is even a short quiz: 5 Love Languages that you can take to learn your own. (Don't do the one question one... it is lame.)
And in different seasons, we change, and that is okay. But love looks so different to every person, and loving them for who they are, not what they have done, and knowing how to love them, is so important.
Go take a gander at that song, do it.
God loves me for me, not for what I've done, or who I have become, but he loves me for me. Do we whisper this to our little ones? Our babes can't hear it or see it enough in my mind.
I will love this girl in spite of her actions, I will love her along her goodness, and wrongs. I will shower her with grace to guide her to be a woman of compassion, integrity, kindness, truth, and love.
I love you for the person you are, because you are wonderfully made, I love you, because you are so much more than you will ever do.