I don’t know about you, but I never knew I could love anything like I love my kids. Each one. The other day Jack asked me if I loved Fury or him more. This was after he snuggled into me and whispered a hushed confession, “I love you more than Dad.” It was as if a burdene had been lifted off his guilt-ridden soul. It’s not right to love someone more. “You’re so warm,” he continued, “and squishy.” Okay, so – I could have lived without the last bit. But, he was talking about how he relishes scooching close and burying his feet under my legs. So what if I’m a bit squishier than his fit father … it’s on my list of follow-through’s. I laughed and hugged him. He loves his dad. But somewhere along the way he has equated certain things that I do as signifying more
“She said she hated me and I was the worst mother in the world,” my friend told me after recounting her daughter’s response to a “so not fair” grounding that resulted from some seriously bad choices. It’s funny, because I had just left another mom experiencing the same push back and harsh word choices. “You’re not the worst mother,” I told her. “You’re a good mother – who loves her kid enough to set boundaries. … And you know, she doesn’t mean it. She loves you. And, her words, though seemingly aimed at you, might not be about you at all.” We both thought about that for a second – and I wondered if what I was saying was true. I had lived through a similar barrage days earlier. In the moment of my child’s huffing, I stuffed a strange
When I was in 7th grade, my grandparents set under our tree a large, beautifully-wrapped gift. It was adorned with ribbons, bows and my name on top. My grandmother and grandfather wrapped everything and put it under the tree. Pencils, clipboards, barrettes, socks – even underwear. We still laugh at all the things they would put into a box and wrap. But this particular year, I knew that the huge box sporting my name had to be something special. It was far too nice to be filled with practical. When Christmas came, I reached for that gift as we began to open presents. I eagerly tore through the paper, literally squealing with delight as I imagined what would emerge. Then, I stared in disbelief as the face of a doll emerged. Knowing that the sweet gifters were watching, I fought to disguise my disgust. A doll? I was almost 13-years-old!
Several years ago, I heard our friend Ruth Meek speak at a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. She shared ideas on Redeeming Christmas. Wonderful tidbits of encouraging and fun information passed her lips, but one, the idea of Secret Santa-ing someone in need – real need – often unspoken need – isolating life-need, stuck and continues to stick with our family. The gist: think about someone who had a tough year and bless them with presents, gift cards, an act of kindness – whatever. But do it anonymously. Which is the fun part. Nothing like teaching your kids to ring and run; but there’s something about surprising someone and watching from a safe distance the reaction when they open the door and see a physical manifestation of unexpected blessing. And, more importantly, it brings to the forefront