I tuck my almost-2-year-old daughter into bed after a long day of spilled cereal and poopy diapers. We say a little prayer, share sweet hugs and kisses, then I say “I love you so much, Gracelyn!” In her most confident voice, she replies, “I love Tabitha!” This is not limited to bedtime: she proclaims her love for Auntie Tabitha many times each day, and at night, it has gone on for what feels like forever! Of course, Tabitha is a wonderful aunt who we all love very much, but would it be so hard for Mom to get an “I love you, too.” every now and again?
My kids crowd around me while I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. As I slather on some jelly, I hear my sweet son say “I love you, mom.” Without delay, another sweet voice sings, “I love Mommy!” Sandwich making is now on hold as I scoop up my sweet daughter. “I love you too,” I say, and it seems we have begun a new chapter!
Obviously, she still loves Tabitha and says that, too, but just this morning -with no prompting- I heard that sweet voice say “I love Mommy!” I knew all along she loved me (the hugs and kisses gave it away) but -let’s face it- being a mom can be hard. We focus on the great times and try to forget that we haven’t slept in years. We love our children with everything we have no matter what phase of life they are in. With all the pressure on Mom to make everything okay and to cultivate a loving home all the time, those little “I LOVE YOUs” mean a lot!
The need to be loved is not exclusive to moms. Everyone -young and old and all those in-between- needs to know that they are valued and important. Make a point to tell your loved ones what they mean to you: shout it from the rooftops if that’s what it takes! Never underestimate the power of “I love you!” It’s the little things I celebrate!
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