Frocktober, day 9: Layering lace over a bright dress!
My husband and I are spending the tail end of this week with my two darling nieces while my brother and sister-in-law are off on a lovely mini vacay. They don't get many chances for adventures with just the two of them (all of you parents-of-little-ones can totally relate) so this is a 4 day extravaganza of relaxation for them.
For us, we're tag-teaming the effort between us and both sets of grandparents. It's a delight to be able to help and to spend extra time with the girls. It has only been one night and I've already had a pretty grand epiphany about children, parenthood and love.
When I got to the house after work, my mom (their "miamaw") was outside playing with them. Abigail (the oldest, she's 3) especially was having a blast. When it was time for my mom to leave, Abigail hugged and kissed her probably 10 times. Abigail is definitely a miamaw's girl. My mom would rub her back and hug her and tell her how much she loves her. Oohhh I love you so much!
And Abby kept asking, "can I give you another kiss and hug?"
When my mom finally got out the door to head home, Abigail insisted on watching her drive away through the window. By this time I had a snack on the table for both her and her little sister, Annabella, so I let her sit in the window while I was in the kitchen with Bell.
All of a sudden I heard this strangled sob, a really distressed squeal of sorrow. I ran into the living room and Abby's face was scrunched up in sadness.
"I didn't say I love you to her! I didn't say I love you!"
I realized a couple things in that moment.
1.) Children are the most precious, genuine, loving little beings in the universe.
2.) Words of love cannot be said enough. There is always, always room for more.
Bonus: don't ever be too busy, or too dressed up, to take off your shoes and play in the dirt.
I gently reminded that darling girl that she had said I love you, and I brought back to her mind the many sweet hugs and kisses she had just given to miamaw. She finally nodded, smiling a little, satisfied.
I remember being that girl. Crying through the window when my daddy drove away to work in the mornings. Just like Ever After: it was tradition! He always waved at the window!
Perhaps some day, when I have a baby of my own, I'll write a post on children and what a blessing they are. At this point I am woefully ignorant, and certainly willing to say so. But I catch glimpses, and that's enough for me to know the echo of such a blessing. I've been guilty of being afraid of having kids, unconsciously thinking of them as things: expenses, inconveniences. I am selfish. If they are anything, they're blessings, and that's all there is to it. Anyone who says any different is selling something.
The point, of course, is that bebes soak up love like very cute sponges. They need it even when they already have it. Attention and words of affirmation are so beautiful at that age. Maybe it's because they're learning so many new things and a lot of it just slips in and out of their brains like a crazy twirl of hot wheels tracks, but sometimes they just need reminding. They need reminding to go potty, so they definitely need reminding that they are loved. All the time. Remember the love.