On the outside, some choices seem so easy. Of course you love your child, therefore, it should be easy to show love to your child. Easy, right? Well...not always. Maybe I'm the miniority. I feel like I should quote Gandhi right now and set myself straight. Love, in its multiplicity of forms, is the best answer. I believe that. I know it. Putting theory into practice is not always easy.
I had to make a choice today. Sometimes my kids act in such a way that, initially, I think they're underserving of my love, or rather, my expression of it at that moment. Wrong, I know. But the honest truth, yes, I thought that today. And, yes, I know better. I chalk it up to the human condition. My impulsive, mortal self with all its imperfections and limited vision. But then, quietly working it's way into my mind through all the frustration, and yes, even anger, a little thought spoke to me that the moment when my kids seem the least deserving of my love is the moment when they need it most.
Have you ever felt this wrestling inside you when the last thing you want to do is take that little stinker-of-a-child in your arms and love them? Not only love them, but saying those words, "I love you," when your heart doesn't want to because you're so frustrated, all you really want to do is scream? Making this conscious decision when every emotion in your human-self is screaming against it is a battle. Me vs. Me. Justice vs. Mercy. Take them in my arms or take them to their room? Arms, room, arms, room.
Here's the miracle of it all . . .
I made my decision (seriously, if you knew how I was feeling, you'd know it was a miracle), the stinker-child collapses into my arms, and it comes . . . the melting, the softening of my heart, the calmness in my soul, the confirmation that I made the right choice. Relief. And on its heels, the stark realization that I could've just as easily sent him away, confirming to his innocent, little mind that he's not worthy of my love. Scary that a mother has that much power.
Friends, this is called emotional exhaustion. Believe me. I was tired after that. I may not have done much today but that choice, that decision, was paramount. I felt the weightiness of it. I screw up a lot as a parent. It's not intentional, but I do. I hope that amidst all the screwing up, these little bits of love weasle their way to the foreground of my kids' memories. That they'll be able to say, looking back, "You know, it wasn't so bad...in fact, it was pretty darn good."
I hope . . .