The truth is, I’m not the best mother. It’s hard to stay in the moment. There are so many tasks on the to-do list. I don’t have nearly enough patience, nor time. My temper flares. My voice rises. My back hurts, my head hurts, I’m old. I don’t play well. I’m not the fun one. The thought of doing crafts is excruciating. Some mornings I wish for the day to end before it’s even begun.
But there is one thing I do well, and I do often.
I tell my kids I love them.
Always. It doesn’t matter when or why. For no reason. Enough to where I’m not surprised if they get tired of hearing it, but I still say it again. I don’t remember a day when I haven’t vocalized it to each of my kids at least once. Usually more. A lot more. The love in a family takes many forms, but it’s the articulation of affection that carries with you. It can lift you up when you need it, or erase any negative. It is the most invaluable form of validation. It’s important to hear.
It’s said before my boys get on the school bus each morning, just as it’s included in our ritual every evening. Like when I’m tucking Jedi into bed, I’ll wrap my arms around him for a lopsided hug as his head is lying on the pillow, kiss his cheek, and say as a cap for the night.
“I love you, kiddo.”
Then he’ll say in return, my first born son. “Mom…”, he begins as I prepare for a touching comeback, “I farted”.
Love’s many forms. Many, many forms.