Today wasn't any harder than any other day that I have with my children. I thought it was actually a fairly wonderful morning. I mean, we woke up at the usual early time, ate our regular breakfast and even got out of the house to play with friends and to run errands.
Maybe it was our battle at lunch time when I asked my sweet three year as calm and assertively as I know, to not put his fingers in his water, or to finish his turkey sandwich, or to sit on his bottom or to pick his bowl of applesauce off of the chair and sit on his bottom, again. Or maybe it was the next time he dunked his fingers in his water, after I asked him to do all the things I listed above and grabbed him from his spot and pulled him into his room to sit him in our "talking" chair.
I sat him on his rocker and watched him as he cried. He wouldn't look me in the eyes- so I followed his head as it thrashed side to side. I calmly asked for his hands and asked him to listen to me while I explained to him why I brought him in his room to talk it out.
Once his small hands were in mine, he stopped crying and listened. He listened as I simply reminded him that when I ask him to do something he needs to use his ears to listen to what I am saying and to DO what I am saying, even if it is hard and he may not want to. He is only three and this is HARD for him. But we are starting practicing these habits now.
He nodded his head when I asked him if he understood what I was saying and if he heard me.
And we hugged it out. I told him I loved him and we went on.
Just a moment later I heard him mumble something to himself as he hovered over his toys and played with his hands.
I stopped dead in my tracks and knelt down and asked him to repeat what he had just said-- because I wanted to convince myself that what I had just heard was NOT what I just heard.
"Mommy doesn't like me"-- He said in his small but serious tone. I stepped back and grabbed my heart, because really, at that moment I thought it was going to spill out onto the floor.
I put both of my hands on his arms and whisked him up and placed him in my lap.
I moved his face to mine as I reminded him that what he just said was absolutely not true, and that his mommy does love him.
I said, "Do you know how much your mommy loves you? Do you?" and I went on..
"I love you so much that for 9 months I carried you around in my belly. I love you so much that Mommy and Daddy waited for you to come home with us from the hospital. I love you so much that I quit my job at the salon to be with you at home. I love you so much that I don't spend time with my friends so I can be home with you. I love you so much that when you are sleeping, I am preparing everything for our next day together..." He escaped my hold and before I let him go I hugged him tight and told him that I loved him and wouldn't let his feet touch the floor until I could tell he knew what I was trying to say.
But I could have went on...
" I love you so much that I am careful of the people I surround us with. I love you so much that I am careful of where we go and when. I love you so much that I trust almost no one in your care besides family. I love you so much that I don't say "freaking" "crap" "dang it" or other (not so bad) words, I love you so much that all of our cabinets, drawers and handles have safety locks on them to protect you from hurting yourself. I love you so much that I bought you extra pants in case you have too many accidents to keep up with the laundry. I love you so much that I make you sit at the table until you have eaten enough.I love you so much that our house is a mess because I would rather play with you than clean. I love you so much that I forget to do important things because I am so busy with you. I love you so much that I will make up silly and embarrassing songs just because you ask. I love you so much that I drive around a nerdy van for you and all your stuff. I love you so much that I am usually late to everywhere I need to go to make sure you will be happy when I am away. I love you so much that your mommy and daddy have more date nights in than out so we can be home if you need us.I love you so much that I think of our neighborhood and our home and wonder if it will be safe and okay for you as you grow, I love you so much that I will have more children just so you have siblings that you will learn, play and grow along side with, I love you so much that I don't want to send you to school, I love you so much that I seriously consider teaching you from home, I love you so much that I have devoted my life to my faith and my love for my Savior that he will protect you from harm, evil and accident. I love you so much that I change the station on the radio when a dirty song comes on. I love you so much that I have documented your entire life for everyone to read and know online... I love you so much that I was sealed to your daddy for all eternity so we could be together forever...." And I could literally go on and on on...
But to my three year old, when I pull him away from his lunch that he was trying to finish for a treat to be talked to in the talking - he didn't think I like him.
But even after I told him all the ways I loved and proof that I, indeed, loved him. I looked at him and he still seemed sad.
I asked him what was wrong, and he said, "I am sad."
"Why are you sad"- I really wanted to know.
"Because, I don't like you."
And I believed him.
But before I laid him in his bed for his nap. I stroked his cheek and sang him his favorite song, "I am a Child of God" the words resonated deep into my being and I knew they were true.
"I am a Child of God and he has sent ME here-
has given my an earthly home with
Lead me, Guide me, walk beside me, help me, find the way
teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday..."
There is no way I could be a mother on this earth without my Savior leading, guiding and walking beside me- helping me to raise these sweet spirits that he has sent me to care for.
I am grateful, humbled and honored to be my three year old's mommy and I wouldn't trade it for anything.