Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Fragile Thread

I mentally started this post about a month ago, and in my mind the title was, "Never Underestimate the Value of a Mom." My premise was going to be that even though we moms are great at knowing what we're not so good at, our children see past all that and love us unconditionally.

You see, my daughter had gotten into an unintentional habit of looking up at me multiple times a day and saying the words, "I'm so glad I have a mommy and daddy!" 
Every. Single. Day. She said those words with the most serene, happy look on her face, and she would usually be holding my hand, so she would snug up on my arm and melt into me. What a treasure! What a treat to hear those words even when I had made mistakes or mishandled situations earlier in the day. When we were playing together or taking a walk, just spending time together, inevitably she would look up at me with her dark brown eyes and speak her happiness into my heart. "I'm so glad to have a mommy and daddy!"

"This is the message that has to get out there," I thought. "Kids need moms, even moms who don't feel like they have it all together. I certainly don't, and my daughter doesn't even seem to notice. She's just happy to feel loved and belong."  That was the post I was going to write, and if I was lucky, it may have even included a picture of Julia's face as she smiled up at me in that moment just before the words poured out of her mouth.

But I got busy, and the blog took a backseat to working with my husband to build a playset in the backyard and then to planning the big birthday party for a certain little girl. And my post never got written. Why not write in now? The party was last weekend. Everything is cleaned up and put away. Thank you notes are written.  Everyone's in school, and I've got a quiet house.

Well, about that. Um, a couple days ago my daughter said that she wanted another family. She even named one of her friends and thought that her family might be a better fit. Ouch!

Come to think of it, I hadn't heard her daily mantra in awhile. Wasn't she still glad to have a mommy and daddy?  What about the swing set? That was mostly for her. And the birthday party? Definitely for her. Yet she recently had been acting like she was auditioning to be the poster child for kids who misbehave just to get attention. You know that whole theory that says negative attention is better than no attention at all...

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had gotten completely caught up in doing things for her and had neglected to do things with her. For about a week and a half, my priorities were focused on getting things done, and my sweet little girl who was so happy to have a mommy and daddy was pushed to the side.

A child needs to know that they're precious and valuable, and one of the best ways to convey this message is to just be with them. So the next morning when Julia woke up, I scooped her up and rocked her back and forth, looking into her eyes and telling her how precious she was. We held hands walking out to the car when it was time to go to school. After school, we played in the backyard together and planted some flowers.Over the next several days, as I became more intentional, her attention-seeking behaviors lessened, which was a win-win for us all!

Yesterday we were playing dolls in her room when she stopped and looked me straight in the eye. I saw the expression on her face before I heard the words, and I knew what was coming. 

"I'm so happy to have a mommy and daddy!"

There is an Ancient Chinese Proverb that says, "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break."   

(That's the look. She LOVES her daddy!)

1 comment:

  1. So true! Thank you for this blog ;) (Just heard a Focus on the family today that was about this as well).