I Love You Right Up to the Moon -- And Back
Dear kids, I try and tell you I love you each day in words. I try, because I know it is important, but I’m sure there are some days when events get the best of me, and I forget. Lest you doubt my unwavering devotion and complete adoration for you, I have compiled below a list of love notes I send you each and every day. These love notes aren’t made up of words. They are the deeds that I do (and that all moms do) to say, “I love you.” And not just I love you, but I love you enough to go where no one else will go for you, including your dad on some days.
How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.
- When you are sick, I routinely wipe snot from your nose on good days and suck it out with a bulb syringe on bad ones.
- I stay up late washing the only outfit that will work for Spirit Day at school.
- I suppress my own gag reflex and maintain a cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor when giving you a bath after you have thrown up all over yourself and your bed.
- I clean up the poop you smear in various places when you somehow manage to take off your diaper.
- When we are out in public, I hold out my hand when you need somewhere to spit out whatever snack is in your mouth that you decided you didn’t like.
- I sit up with you in the darkest hours of the night when you are afraid of the dark.
- I agonize over how to tell you that your fish is dead, because I don’t want to “make your heart hurt” (as you often put it in a way that makes mine hurt, too).
- I pretend not to be afraid of giant spiders we see, when in fact, my natural instincts tell me to scream and run away flailing in terror.
- I give you the last bit of whatever it is I am eating that you so desperately seem to need and I so desperately seem to want.
- I let you come in the bathroom and flush the toilet for me, because it seems to give you (for reasons I cannot even fathom) a thrill that sends you into a full-body fit of giggles.
- I pretend not to be annoyed by Max and Ruby, even though it makes me want to rip a leg off of a chair and beat myself over the head with it.
- Ditto for Dora.
- I read you the same book over and over, because that is how you like to roll.
- I fix that finicky piece on your favorite toy every time you bring it to me (about five hundred times a day).
- I apply countless BandAids on non-existent injuries, because you tell me that they will make you feel better.
- I cook well-balanced meals for you every day, even though you are more apt to throw whatever it is on the floor instead of eating it.
- I do Kiss-and-Ride with you for school pick-up and drop-off. Moms who do this know of the seventh circle of Hell of which I speak (You don’t need a full car-length between cars at Kiss-and-Ride for the love of God!!!).
- I stare with awe at your hands, feet and other features even though it has been a long time since you were a baby.
These are just a few of the love notes from me to you. I send them every day. They may not be fancy, and they certainly aren’t the stuff Hallmark cards are made of, but they are real, and they are us. Together. You are mine, and I am yours, and if that isn’t a love note worthy of a keepsake, I don’t know what is.
Shannon Hembree is the mother of a kindergartner and twin toddlers. She is also the co-founder of www.mamasagainstdrama.com.