One evening a few weeks ago, Jayce asked me for a piece of paper close to bedtime. About fifteen later, he came into the bedroom where I was reading Hannah a bedtime story, instructed me to close my eyes while he read me the title of the poem, which was, “This Poem is Called I Love You.” Then he read this to me.
Now you might think that this was on the heels of a meaningful day spent together. A day of making cookies side-by-side in the kitchen, of us playing tag and me chasing him around the park, or helping him with homework and high-fiving with each correct answer while he beamed with pride. This seems like the sort of day that would warrant and end of the day I love you poem.
Instead, it was a fully average day with no real excitement one way or the other. A few days later, Jayce saw his poem on my desk and asked me if I liked it. I told him that I loved it so so much and that I had showed it to many of my friends (on Facebook) because I liked it so much. Then I asked him why he made it for me.
I just wanted to do something nice for you.
I would love to take credit for Jayce’s sweet, kind, and considerate demeanor, but if I’m being honest with myself I think he is just that kid. The sweet kid. He came out of class yesterday to a very sick sister and bent down, asked if she was feeling better, and gave her a kiss on the lips. Chris told us all that we could go to Bodeans for dinner while he was out of town, and Jayce vehemently declared, “Dad we would NEVER go there without you
!” Over the weekend I overheard him tell a friend that he was a Christian because he believed in God. Let’s not forget the time that he sang to me
and rocked my chair when I was having a bad day. Chris and I are just too flawed to be fully responsible for such a sweet little peach.
Actually I think that Chris and I are pretty good parents. But there are plenty of days when we are “as good of parents as we can be under the circumstances.” I wish that all of my energy could be spent on memory-making and beautiful activities. But as boring as it is, my energy has to be split between those things and trivial things like food, clean clothes, and getting my children to and from their school and activities. I wish that I had endless patience for slow motion putting on of shoes, a higher tolerance for the second+ times that they need something from bed, or that I didn’t feel my blood beginning to boil the third time that I repeat myself and my children still give no indication that they have heard me.
I guess I still feel many days like Chris and I are just winging it and lucking out. How did we get this funny and crazily animated little girl? Where did we get this considerate and chilled out little boy? How are our imperfect efforts resulting in such incredible kids? Please Lord please help us not to screw them up.
Every night when I pray with the kids before bed I thank God for each of them, and that I get to be their mother. I can’t pass either one of them without running my fingers through their hair, or kissing the tops of their heads, or telling them that I love them the most. On weeks like the last few where I feel like I am running on much less energy than usual, I hope that these little things help fill in the holes left by only one story each before bedtime, and other such motherly mishaps.
I guess I feel lucky, very lucky, that even though many days I feel like I have fallen short of being a perfect mom, my 6 year old would choose a very average day to give me an above average expression of his love. That is something.