Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Letter to my Children

Dear Eden, Adaleine & Judah,
I want to tell you first and foremost that you are the greatest blessings God could have ever given me. You are my reason right now. My reason to get up, my reason to do all that I do. You have all brought such life and light to my existence, each in your own special way. I want to give that light back and bless you as you have blessed me.

As I was doing the dishes tonight after putting you to bed, I was struck by the thought that I think I’m doing this wrong. I hear women talking about how much they treasure the time of night when they tuck their littles into bed, giving them hugs and snuggles and kisses galore. And I stood there for a second and thought about what our bedtimes are like. And I wanted to cry.

Here is what I picture when I think of bedtime with you, my precious little blessings. I think of scolding and telling you over and over to stop yelling, calm down, and get back into bed. That I’m not going to read another story. That we’re each only choosing one song to sing. That you need to get back on your bed. That maybe I will lie down and snuggle with you tomorrow night. Just sitting here and writing this all out makes my heart hurt.

Our pastor at church has been talking about Ruth the past couple weeks. Ruth was a woman of character—hard-working, loyal, respectful and humble. She is what I want for myself and for you, my sweet daughters. And for my brave Judah I have hopes that you will hold the heroic Boaz as a standard to aspire to. But how can I teach you if I have no intention of learning to be the woman, the wife, the mommy that God has called me to be?

So I’m sorry. I’m sorry I don’t snuggle and cuddle you. I’m sorry I don’t get down on the floor and play with you. I’m sorry that I don’t sing you every single song that your little heart wants to hear. I’m sorry that your mommy has this strange piece missing that should make her sweet and sensitive. I’m sorry that you have this mommy that is hard and cold.

Let me tell you something little ones. I love you more than you will ever know. I lie awake at night finding it impossible to sleep because I have so much hope for you, and terror that something—anything will happen to hurt and break you. I trust no one with my little parcels from above because all it takes is one moment and you can be hurt beyond repair. I want perfection for you, but I do not have it to give.

I’m crying as I write this to you, my little angels. My heart is broken because I think that I’ve missed my chance to make your first memory of your mommy anything but frustration and anger. I want you to remember love, patience, understanding and genuine caring. I don’t want you to grow up with my regrets hanging over your heads.

God knows that this life wasn’t what I had planned. I tell people that I never even wanted kids, and the fact of the matter is that I think I knew that this was all I had to give and it’s not enough. It’s not enough for three little images of perfection to have to scrape together separate snippets of a cold mommy to paste them together in one image of love and acceptance.

I want to be more for you. I want to encourage you, Eden to be all that you want to be and not to give up just because something is hard. You will have to keep trying and you can’t give up just because you fail the first try. And my sweet Adaleine. You have the sweetest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. Don’t be what everyone else wants you to be. Be the amazing person that you were created to be. And my little Judah Bear, you are so brave. And so stubborn! There are great and amazing things in your future because you will grow up learning from an amazing daddy and guarding and championing two big sisters. No one could ask for more from you.

Your mommy loves you. I may not be able to show it well and I’m sorry for that. I’ve been broken and I promise you right here and now to try to mend for your sakes. Because you deserve it.
I will sign off with something I used to tell your daddy before you little miracles came along.

You—all three of you—have all my love, all my kisses, all my heart.

With heart and tears and so much love it hurts,
your Mommy

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