[via Kristi Dalberg, via Amber Hillabolt, via Pinterest]
Yesterday, I told Diva that I loved her.
She looked at me for a moment, then said, “I know, Mom. You tell me that a hundred times a day.” She went back to what she was doing for a few minutes, then angled her head at me and said, “Why do you tell me that you love me so much?”
At first, I was taken aback by her question. It was almost like she was annoyed by me saying that so often.
I thought about what to say to her very quickly, because with her short attention span I knew if I waited too long to reply I’d lose the moment entirely. I didn’t want to get way too mushy, but I also didn’t want to be too flippant about it, either.
Growing up, my family wasn’t a particularly emotional one. My dad is a very quiet man, he says what he needs to say when he needs to say it and that’s about it. His own family was anything but close when he was a child, so it’s just how he was raised. My mom lost her dad when she was a baby, her siblings were all a good bit older than she was, and I know my grandmother had to work a lot to make ends meet. I remember my mom being “huggy” when we were very young, but not so much as we got older. And honestly? The words “I love you” weren’t said all that often in my childhood home. In fact, on the occasions that one of us does say it, it almost feels foreign. I have always known that they love me, it just wasn’t verbalized very often.
My parents changed a bit after my kids were born. My dad didn’t work all the time. My mom made lots of extra time for the kids. I hear them tell my kids that they love them all the time. I don’t really know what the difference is. I don’t even care, really.
At some point in my first pregnancy, I decided that I would always, ALWAYS, tell my children that I loved them. And over 12 years later, I do just that. The words “I love you” are frequently spoken in our home…whether it’s being spoken to one of the kids or between my husband and me. Yes, I do tend to say it at random times, often multiple times a day. I’ve been known to suddenly started hugging one of my children and telling them that I love them very, very much.
So what did I tell my daughter?
I told her that there were some kids in this world who didn’t have parents who tell them “I love you” all the time.
I told her that I never wanted them to ever leave our house without knowing that their Mama loved them. Doesn’t matter if they are going to bed, going to school, going to a friend’s house, eating lunch, or just sitting there looking cute.
I say it every single time.