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Dear Kids, This Is Why I Tell You I Love You All the Time

Photograph by Twenty20

Dear kids,

Last night, when you were standing in the kitchen talking softly as I was making cookies, I felt the magic. I know that sounds silly to you. I tell you things like this all the time as a way to convey what your peacefulness does to me. Each and every time I do this, you look at me as if I've lost it.

I try to keep little snapshots like this in my mind. They are fleeting and tiny, yes, but they mean the most. We've done some big, exciting things together that can make a Friday night in sound like a snooze fest, but to me, these seemingly small moments are where it's at. I feel our love come alive in the seconds you help each other find your shoes, offer to get each other a drink or are doubled-over with laughter on the way home from dining out.

When you are all content and happy simultaneously, it makes me feel as though I'm doing something right and that, despite all my shortcomings as your mother, you are going to turn out just fine.

I've wanted to have kids my whole life and never doubted that fact. I knew I would love you, but I never knew it would be a love this hard. I had no idea a love like this even existed.

I had no idea I would crave time with you again as soon as you drifted off to sleep and I'd run through all the things in my head that I could have done better.

I had no idea you could miss someone when they were sitting right next to you, lost in a puzzle or a book. I've had times when I've interrupted your playtime simply because I needed to let you know what you are to me, what you mean to me, what you've done for me.

I want to lean into motherhood and accept it's going to have its up and downs, all while showing—not just telling—you how treasured you all are.

I try not to do this anymore, especially out of fear. Sometimes I worry that if I don't slather you in love, you won't know how deep my feelings run.

Of course, you don't yet know what loving someone like this feels like. You might not until you have kids of your own. Maybe I don't need to try and convey it to you so much. It's just that I want to share this feeling, I want to remind you often and I want to share this bliss with you. But I realize I have to loosen my grip a little, even when I feel I still need to tell you often.

Because what you need is a mother who is here, who is accepting and who tries her best to be present during the really shitty moments as well as the precious ones. What you need is to feel like you can come to me with anything because you know how much I believe in you, and I want you to know you can have everything you can imagine. What you need is a strong mother who can admit when she's sad and doesn't know what the right answers are all the time.

You don't need a mother who is trying to prove her love to you by telling you about her love at every turn, feels guilty constantly or expects perfection from herself. Those are the things I need to work on the most.

I want to lean into motherhood and accept it's going to have its up and downs, all while showing—not just telling—you how treasured you all are.

But for now, bear with me when I still need to sit down and tell you. It's the best way I can express myself. My love for you knows no boundaries. You are it for me.

Love always,

Mom

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