I Love You Anyway

Dear (my) Children,

Sometimes, I really don’t get you. The decisions you make. The way you act. All of it.

The days that you are the fussiest are the days that you outright refuse to nap. The moments where you are the most upset are where you end up in trouble because you choose to climb the stairs or on top of that giant stuffed turtle (no lie) anyway, no matter how many times I tell you not to or put the stupid thing away. Those irritating moments when you decide to stop eating that container of applesauce 1/8th of the way through when you normally finish the whole thing in three minutes or when you throw the rice that you have eaten a million times before now on the floor in protest.

I. Don’t. GET IT…

…probably like some of the time when you don’t understand me and the things that I do.

Sometimes, my lack of understanding or patience really shows through. You have seen me cry. You have seen me slam doors or stomp around the house and yell in frustration. You probably don’t get why. Sometimes, I really don’t either.  I say truthfully and without a doubt that you are probably the only people to see me at my worst. To see me at my most impatient. My angriest. My weakest. My most doubtful and my most exacerbated. Some of the time, it isn’t even because of you. Sometimes, it’s the world and all of its demands. In turn, no one will see you in the same way that I see you. When you’re awake at 1 a.m. because you’re scared that there is a woodpecker in the attic. When you’re covered in hives, screaming in the ER. When your diaper is soiled and has leaked through. When you’re covered in food and resisting a bath. When you’re throwing a tantrum. When you’re throwing toys. When you’re throwing just about anything. When you’re playing behind the sofa cushions I have asked you not to play behind dozens of times. And doing so while naked. When you’re fed up with the rules. No one else will see you act this way. No one else will be with you 24/7 to wrangle you. And no one will contend with you in this way ever again after you grow up. We have an understanding, you and I.

I want to make something perfectly clear.

I will always love you.

Perfect baby, you’re the one

I will be impatient. I will be quick to anger. I will be imperfect. I will never, ever be what you need me to be, what you need the most. You may think that is absolutely nonsense, but it is the truth. You see me as the end all answer. You see me as the provider. You need my affection. You need my love. This is true. But you need your heavenly Father’s love all the more. And so do I. He sustains me and helps me love you better even when the going gets tough. When you’re decidedly awake at 1:30 a.m….and again at 4 a.m. When you’re in the supermarket, throwing a tantrum and a jar of salsa out of the cart. When you decide to scream and run away through the library. When you’re dropping the lunch that I just made you onto the floor, much to the dog’s delight. When others wouldn’t want to touch you with a ten foot pole or think that I have out of control children that I must be letting run wild and naked (sometimes) at home.

Ewww.

When I just don’t get it, when you just don’t get me, just know this: I love you.

I’ll always love you. It’s just that simple. Sometimes, I need to say this to myself, over and over again. Not because there are moments that it doesn’t ring true. Because there are moments that I need to remember why I do all that I do, and why I want to do the best that I can.

So lately, kids, there have been some really long days. And some of them have been hard. But they don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I try to keep the good memories. How we laugh together when we play chase, or snuggle when we watch cartoons together on the sofa. And it’s why my camera phone has more than 1,000 pictures stored in it currently and why your clothes are washed and put away instead of mine.

I love you. You’re both crazy. But I love you.

Mom

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