Last week, in the middle of dinner, our son bounded over to my husband’s place at the table and gave him a great, big squeeze.
No prompting. No reason.
Just a love-hug in the middle of family dinner.
Shortly after, our daughter leaned in and said, “Daddy, I give you a ’tiss’?”
Two seats away, my husband was getting showered with love while I was sitting alone with me, myself, and my sweet potato curry.
Not gonna lie, it hurt.
Why don’t I get random hugs? Why don’t I receive spontaneous kisses? Why are both of our kids touching and loving on their father (whose love language is admittedly NOT “physical touch”)?!?!?!
Mama was miffed.
Rehearsing the mental list of all I do for them, I stewed as I stirred my spiralized, potato noodles.
I buy their clothes; I wash their clothes; and I get stains out of their clothes. I dust their house; vacuum their house; and keep their house from feeling like a barn. I coordinate their play-dates; I make their dinners; and I plan their birthday parties. I keep their memories; take their photos; and document all their “firsts.” I cuddle them in the morning, read to them in the afternoon, and soothe them at night. I take them on surprise trips for Chipotle, chicken nuggets, and ice cream cones. I talk them off their emotional-ledges; I process their fears and feelings; and I draw-out their scary and sad. I let them take bubble baths in the middle of the day; I let them cover their naked selves in shaving cream while practicing letter recognition; and I let them pour and play with a 5lb bag of beans in the middle of our living room floor. I conduct science experiments, make paint from weird substances, and create Nerf Gun competitions for them and their friends. I make sure their homework is done, their library books returned, and their ungodly amount of school papers are signed and sent back to school. I wipe their bums 378 times a week, re-fill their cups 2,467 times a week, and wash 18,926 of their dishes a week. I take them to story hour, to gymnastic classes, and to both their sick and well doctor visits. I schedule their eye appointments, their hair cuts, and their art camps. I teach them; I encourage them; I care for them; and I bear with them. I keep them from killing themselves, killing each other, and killing the random soul at the play area who just body-slammed them to the ground. I play on the floor with them, run at parks with them, and hit grounders to them at the local field. And not to mention, I locate all of their lost belongings, help them change in and out of their clothes all day long, and can successfully hear my name being called from the basement, attic, or side yard.
I DO A LOT.
Now I’m not saying my hubby doesn’t “do,” because trust me, he “does” (I write blogs about his amazing-ness; see exhibit A and exhibit B)…but HELLO?!?!?! How ’bout a little huggy-hug for your hard-working, fun-creating mama?!?!
I’m pretty sure I didn’t think about my response.
Like at all.
Because if I had, I probably wouldn’t have referenced a gross piece of meat– of which neither of my kids have probably ever heard uttered in their short lifetimes. But I wasn’t thinking; I was feeling.
“So what am I? Chopped liver?”
My daughter looked at me with big, confused eyes. I’m pretty sure the look communicated something like, “Oh hey! You are here?! I thought it was just daddy and me.”
(Okay, okay…I was being overly sensitive in that blip of time.)
Again, I spoke.
“Why don’t IIIIIIIIIIIIIII ever get random hugs and kisses?”
(Seriously, I probably sounded a tad bit whiny, and a little bit sad, and a whole lot dramatic.)
Without missing a beat and with the sweetest of eyes, my son said, “Oh, Mommy. It’s just because you’re always there.”
Now I realize I could have heard his words as, “We take you for granted,” but I didn’t.
In that very moment, it was all my mama-heart needed to hear.
I felt him say, “You’re safe.”
I heard him say, “You’re consistent.”
And I heard him say, “We love you, Mommy, because you’re always there.”
Though it might not seem like “enough,” it was and it is…enough for me.
Because I am one of the few people in their lives who gets the privilege of being known as consistently there, as consistently safe, and as consistently loving.
And as I have thought about his words and the truth of this mama-reality, I am grateful for the beautiful treasure I possess as their mama.
Sure, I might not always get the “flashy and the fun” or the spontaneous, feel-good hugs around the dinner table on a Tuesday night when Daddy is present, but I get the honored gift of having a front-row seat to their day-in and their day-out.
I get the honor of caring for them and loving them a majority of their little days.
I get the honor of providing safety, stability, and security for their little souls.
I get the honor of modeling “consistency,” “dedication,” and “sacrificial love” for their little selves.
And I get the honor of encouraging them, teaching them, and molding them–building into their little lives for all the little seconds.
Because if there is one thing I want my kids to really believe and truly embrace for all the days of their precious lives, it’s the spoken words of my six year-old son.
“It’s just because you’re always there.”
Mamas, you are cherished for the beautiful consistency you provide; you are treasured for the ever-safe place you create; you are admired for the life-changing love you offer; and you are dearly esteemed for being the ever-present, always-there, steady-ready gift of love your children crave and desperately need.
Happy (early) Mother’s Day, you are celebrated!