“Mommy, how much do you love me?” my son asked. The question is becoming a part of our nightly routine.
“I love you this much,” I spread my fingers only a few inches apart, teasing the response I know will be coming.
“Well mommy, I love you this much,” my daughter piped in spreading her arms widely and smiling sweetly.
“I love you the most mommy,” my son exclaimed. And never one to be outdone, he opened his arms as wide as his little body would allow and began running around the room.
It usually takes them a few minutes to calm down after this game and fall asleep, but when they do, I am left with a feeling that is akin to bliss. Of all the types of love that I have experienced, this one gets me every time. Motherhood isn’t always like this, but even years later, it is never lost on me how much of a privilege it is to be loved by my children born after loss. And, I am ever mindful of how close I came to never knowing what this kind of love feels like.
Watching them sleep, I think through their question. “How much do you love me?”
I know that they know the answer to this question. I love them more than there are words. And I know this was just their silly game hoping to delay bedtime, but if I had to play along and answer, it would probably be this:
I love you as much as I love the hair my head.
And every day, I learn a little bit more about what works for my hair type and what doesn’t. I had to stop comparing my kinky curly hair to other people’s hair and understand that my hair will never be like theirs and that is okay. And once I focused on what makes my hair special and unique, that’s when the fun began.
I love you the way I love reading a really great book.
With each chapter, I grow more and more excited about what comes next and I fall deeper in love with the characters and their quirks. But then, suddenly, I realize that I am running out of time with my book and I get inexplicably sad. I know the purpose of any good book is to see the characters complete their stories, but I’m sad because I read it too fast and I didn’t spend enough time appreciating every little detail about them. Fortunately, I get to read you over and over again.
I love you like you love Paw Patrol.
Like you, I can watch and re-watch every single episode and the jokes will still be funny. Even though we saw it only yesterday. I am as excited about each new thing you do, as you are to tell me about the newest pup on the scene. And yes, I think about you nonstop too.
I love you in the same way I love Netflix.
Some days as a mom are long and hard. And sure, at the end of the day I am tired and feeling to give up, but yes I am still watching, loving, learning and being with you. I will forever go one more episode, one more try, and one more day with you.
I love you like I love those sweet and salty popcorn mixes that were a craze a while back.
Two distinct flavors, perfectly delicious on their own but so much better together. I am so thankful that God blessed me with two. Not only am I better off for it, but each day I see you complement each other. Like how your brother’s sweetness, tones down your sass and how your assertiveness, makes him braver. I love you individually, but I am happy I get to experience you together.
It’s February, the month of love and soon there will be Valentine’s Day cards and craft projects being proudly presented to us. And I will proudly accept them. But, while these mean a lot, they are nothing compared to the gift of being your mother. So sleep well my loves and know just how much I love you.