Do you ever wonder if your children feel your love? I mean really feel it. Often when I look at one of mine, I wonder if they can feel the swell of my heart at that moment.
Okay, so my 17 year-old scary-teenage-know-it-all son isn’t thinking about how I love him when I’m in his face about his lack of effort to complete calculus assignments.
And I’m certain her royal highness isn’t reveling in the strength of my love when I tire of her endless 4 year-old chatter and clinging for the day and tell her to leave me alone.
I’m a confessed indulgent mom. I give in easily. I’m tolerant, permissive and usually quite agreeable with the “I wants.” Sometimes I lecture but I rarely truly punish. And my kids are well aware.
But can they feel the depth of my love? Do they feel the life-altering, earth-moving, unconditional love that’s so much greater than mere words?
I sometimes think about asking them. But I never do because I’m a coward. I’m afraid of the answers I might receive.
If I ask my son, he might remind me that I told him to fuck off while at Disney a few months back. Or he might remind me of the day I lectured him about his irresponsibility all the way to school and continued by shouting through my open car window so he could still hear me, as witnessed by a cadre of his interested peers.
If I ask my people-pleaser daughter, she might just tell me what I want to hear instead of what I want to know. Or she might remind me that I hid in the bathroom for an hour yesterday while she waited patiently for me to start her Tinker Bell DVD.
Then I remember how my son cried as a young boy if ever he saw me with tears. And how he demanded we sit in the same chair every evening after dinner as we giggled through Dexter’s Laboratory together. I remember how he never forgets to say, “Love you, Mom” each time he leaves the house to drive away on his own.
Then I remember how my daughter gets her Little Mermaid ice pack out of the freezer and holds it to the back of my head until her little fingers freeze each time I mention a headache. I remember that beautiful smile meant only for me as she runs out of her ballet class each week to jump into my arms.
So, my fellow cowards, the next time you wonder if your children really feel your love, come find me and together we’ll remember the little things our kids do to provide us with the answer.