Dear Kids, There’s Something I Want You to Know

IMG_2129Kids, can you come here a second? Sit down.

Hey listen…no really, you guys. Wait, come back…yes, you. Please sit. OK now listen, I have something to tell you.

I — hang on, sweetie. I’ll get you a snack in a minute.

Listen, the thing is, I need you to understand something. I’ve been thinking about this a lot — hey, stop touching your brother — and it’s important to me that I say this out loud.

I love that you think so much of me. I love that you think I can be here and there and everywhere all at once. I love that you think I can fix every broken thing, make you feel better when you’re sad/mad/hurt/frustrated, and offer just the right amount of love and support…and snacks when you need them most. I love that you can’t wait to tell me things so badly that you interrupt — wait, hang on, don’t interrupt me. I’m not done yet.

I love that you think I understand your day’s stories when you leave out important details like proper nouns. I love it that you take me so literally when I tell you to put on ten layers of clothes because it’s cold outside.

I love it that you don’t like to share me with anyone, least of all my friends, spouse, work, and phone. I love it that you want me to post your every thought, silly face, and drawing on Facebook for all to admire.

I love it all because I can’t believe that you think I’m large enough to be these things and more, but I also kind of struggle with it sometimes. And by sometimes, I pretty much mean always.

Hey, stop fidgeting. I said *stop* fidgeting.

I foolishly assumed motherhood would allow me to show you the best of myself every day, if for no other reason than because I wanted it to. I set out with this idea about the kind of mother I’d show myself to be — fair, patient, kind, wise, and logical. Little did I realize just how often these valuable qualities would get lost in the translation of motherhood.

It’s both wonderful and strange that you don’t see me for the average person that I am. Your maturity and innocence won’t allow you to, and thank goodness. The fact that you overlook my flaws day after day, mom mistake after mom mistake, reaffirms everything I know to be true about the power of your unconditional love.

In time you’ll begin to realize that I’m a fraction of the woman you thought me to be. You’ll begin to recognize my limitations, witness my faults, and realize that I can’t solve every problem no matter how I try. My only hope is that when that day comes, you’ll know the depth of my dedication to you. I may not be perfect, but I love you with everything that I’ve got.

For now I want to thank you for the greatness you’ve gifted me. I may not have had to work very hard to earn it, but it’s my honor to work like hell to keep it.

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