March 16, 2011

Guess how much I love you

Noah texted me last night some things he needed for today and so there I push a cart through the store at 11:38 PM. I'm tired, the stoplight won't turn green, it's rainy, and I don't really want to be here. I want to be home warm in bed.

But I do. It's what we do. It's how we get through. We don't really have a choice.

I've found that as they get older, which has become so glaringly apparent quite recently, the stuff I know we need to talk about usually comes up in conversation. Things I've worried about, like random stuff or if we are guiding them enough spiritually have been on my heart, but I don't know how to bring it up so that it's natural, how do I know if they are ready to hear. Yesterday Carter asked me all about baptism, and so, that was pretty cool. I know it all doesn't always fall into place this way but... when they ask questions and whether I'm ready or not the honest answer always ends up the right answer.

No one prepared me for this. You just can't. And on top of that each kid is so different. It's also what makes these years so exciting.You get past all the "milestones" and pretty soon it's just one really big milestone. But for real, it's mostly fabulous.

I don't know if and when they'll ever realize the extra stuff I do, like always making sure their favorite shirt is in their drawer, cooking the foods they like, and going to the store late at night for the things they need so that it's there for them in the morning. That stuff is so anonymous, but it's what they can expect, and they should. They are just kids. You can prepare for their sense of security, but you have to do the time. And oft-times it feels like the least rewarding in the moment.

Though in the end it's way more impact-ful than those first smiles or first steps or first tooths.

My love is there, they can expect it without even knowing any different. "Love is spoken here" with and without words.

30 comments:

  1. my heart feels this. we have to talk. i'll try to email you later. xoxo

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  2. This is so very encouraging to me! My oldest is 6, and I am always wondering if I'm providing him with the foundation that I want him to have. Really it's just being there and doing the time. Thanks for this, Stephanie. :)

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  3. This is so beautifully written.
    Isn't being a mom the best thing in the world? The love we feel is just amazing.

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  4. Absolutely beautiful, love it, and I know how you feel!

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  5. Love this post. I am feeling that feeling of watching your babies turn into children. Beautiful and tragic all at once. <3

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  6. Beautiful. You are a lovely mother.

    Bri

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  7. Beautiful post. You are a great mother and I can't wait until your children are older and they have their own children and they can look back and tell you how great you were and how great you ARE and how great you'll continue to be. Love is a verb. A most powerful verb.

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  8. Most mothers I know and have known would never have the foresight to give the comforts you give unconditionally. It's comforting to know there are mothers out there who love their children and sacrifice so much. This post is sweet.

    Conversely, I've found that with attachment parenting, empty nest mothers come to me feeling depleted and without purpose because they only focused on their children and not themselves during their years as a full-time mother. There is anxiety, fear, depression, because they neglected themselves. Once their children are grown they feel useless, used up. Part of being a great mother is taking care of yourself and making sure your happiness and self-nurturing will rub off on your children so that they can become self-reliant by example and take care of themselves when they are older as well. A happy mom makes for happy children. :) And it seems like you're doing that Steph - taking care of yourself and your own needs. I remember a post a while back when you felt guilty for leaving Ivy to go away for a few days, and you did it anyway. Those things need to be done because if you don't take care of yourself, your children will learn that way of parenting from you. Balance. :)

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  9. my seven year old has been hitting a lot of "independence" milestones lately...riding bike around block, introducing himself to new neighborhood kids, etc, and it has just been melting my heart watching him grow. You are so right, the individual milestones become a big singular milestone...of growing up.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. It reminds me that the little things we do definitely matter, and they are appreciated, if by nothing else, than routine availibility. Our kids are so worth the little efforts, and the big ones.

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  10. Thanks for sharing this. I worry about the same things - especially the spiritual guidance one. It's such a hard one to measure at such a little age.

    And the first thought to enter my mind when you wondered if they would ever know all the extra stuff you do for them... just wait until they are parents - they will be amazed as it suddenly hits them just how much you did!

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  11. Have they asked the big question of how they got here with details? When Terry asked I was fixing lunch slicing tomatoes, and missed what he was asking and just answered that we took care of him and his brother, etc. Then he corrected me to ask what we DID to get him and his brother. Of course after I explained, remembering to be accurate and brief, he responded that "oh you did that twice". In your case it would have been 4 times. So if you haven't experience this yet, be prepared.

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  12. In an email conversation with another blogger just last night in response to something she said about how I talk about my Dad I told her that I wished everyone had a Daddy like mine - we knew that everything he did for our family was colored with love. I think your children are going to be able to say the same thing about you.

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  13. Love is spoken here with and without words. I started crying. This is beautiful.

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  14. You are just such a wonderful Mother Steph. And the kids may not recognize all that stuff now but I'm guessing they will when they are adults someday... :)

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  15. This is so beautiful! I'm due with my first baby in about 5 weeks and I've been blogging about my fears and hopes as a parent. Being able to teach them things in life is a privelege and I can just pray that I will be prepared to answer them! Thanks for the encouragement :)

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  16. i am so relating to this today.

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  17. Love it, love it. So encouraging...especially since my oldest is only 4 and I wonder about these things sometimes.

    You're a good mama.

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  18. I love this so much. My child is 2 and it's easy to get caught up in his toddler-ness and get caught up in the milestones. I forget to think about what he'll be like when he's older. I find myself questioning my mothering skills, like "Am I really doing all I should be?" And my greatest fear is that my son will never know just how much I love him.

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  19. Awww great post... yes my love is expected and I like that!!! The whole world is saying "to each his own" and "look out for number one"... but all the mothers in the world know "our love is expected" and we are actually glad to give it, whatever the personal cost!!!

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  20. As a mom of older kids, ages 18-29, I can say that they do realize what you did for them, once they hit about 22 and/or they have kids of their own. That is the big one, once they have their own, they begin to see where you were coming from.
    I spent today taking care of my 18 year old daughter. She attends community college and wants so very much to be grown, but she is very sick with strep throat and needs and wants her mama to take care of her. Doctor's office, drugstore, chicken soup, gatorade, advil on the hour every 4 hours. We're gonna bunk out and watch Secretariat tonight. I treasure this, even though I hate her being sick, because it won't be long before she is gone...
    Bernice
    http://livingthebalancedlife.com

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  21. You are such an amazing mom, Stephanie, and your kids are so blessed to have you. When I think about my kids getting "older" it kind of freaks me out (like the distant future), but as I watch them slowly get older I realize that it is so amazing. I love seeing more and more the little person that they are.

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  22. Yes, but I struggle so much with the "anonymous" part. Why does it have to be so invisible???

    Not criticizing here, just venting. Being invisible gets so very OLD sometimes.

    Okay, done complaining (which is what "venting" nearly always is, if you boil it down, right?).

    Remembering that these little acts of love towards our kids are also acts of love and worship to our God is so hard sometimes. It's one more way to lay up treasures in heaven.

    ((HUGS))

    Thank you for being so real all the time.

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  23. Oh my word...I'm in tears...oh the pregnancy hormones! So beautifully written, Steph. And yes, I totally believe they will realize one day {if they don't already, but don't really say it} everything we do for them!

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  24. Beautiful, and so true. :)

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  25. This is so lovely. And I can so relate.
    It's the little things I do for my boys that no one else does - the things like waking up in the middle of the night to make sure they are covered, making sure they have glasses of water on their night table, making sure, like you said, their favorite shirt is in their drawer... the little things like that... knowing your children so much mor than anyone else. It's all so emotional, being a mom, isn't it? Every day really is an adventure, a journey, and so intense and beautiful, too. Questioning my mothering skills is something I do often, and I want to make sure I'm doing it right, you know?

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  26. I'm learning some new things with Bekah being in her high school's production of Phantom of the Opera. These 3pm-10pm practices are killing me and all I have to do is pick her up! She comes out of practice all smiles and energy. I'm trying to support her in this thing that really, is not MY thing at all. Growing pains all around.

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  27. you are a good mama.
    the love spoken without words is the most beautiful. and you're really good at it, friend.

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  28. you seem fluent in this language, where i'm all stops and stutters.

    still, every morning is a brand new try, and God helps when i let Him. thankful.

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