One of the silly songs my kids and I sing together comes from Enchanted. Giselle asks Richard how Nancy knows he loves her and then breaks into song. "How does she know that you love her? How do you show her you love her?" As I evaulate my curtain circumstance, I find myself asking this question a lot when it comes to my children.
Will they know I love them because:
I dole out consequences for bad behavior or give them room to make mistakes so they can grow? Or maybe they'll know I love them because I insist on teaching them to fish versus just giving them one. Will they know I love them because of the sacrifices I've chosen to make for them? Or will they know because I tell them over and over? Will they know I love them because I endure despite the difficulty, because I refuse to give up, because I have gone to great lengths to keep them safe, because I am trying to get college over and done as fast as I can so I can find a job capable of supporting them all on my own? Will they know I love them when, thinking they are all asleep, I finally allow myself to cry and they hear me? Will they know I love them when I sleep as much a week as most people sleep in 3 or 4 days and can be grumpy as a result? Will they know I love them when they realize that sometimes they are the only thing that keeps me going??
There are so many questions I have like this, but the ones that often cause me to lose sleep at night are these:
Will they know I love them when:
I stayed in an abusive marriage way longer than I should have?
I kept doors open that I should have not only locked but thrown away the keys to?
I lose my temper and yell at them?
I can't always be at every school function?
I've cried tears I should have hidden from them but didn't?
I chose to work and go to school both giving me less time to spend playing with them?
I have to say no way too often and yes not often enough?
I couldn't trust enough to give my heart to someone again?
I tried and failed?
I've made mistakes and forgotten to say I'm sorry?
I've gotten mad at them for no reason?
I don't know how they'll know, I honestly don't. I just hope that somehow they are able to know and understand how deep the love I have for them goes and that they'll be able to forgive me for all the mistakes I've made and all the ones I'm likely going to make in the future.