Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days of Repetitive Parenting: Day One "I Love You!"

I know, I know.  You were expecting something a little more creative to kick off the 31 Days of catchy quotes, but let me reassure you that there are still 30 left to come and you won't want to miss out.  I decided to start with the most important one that we say to our kids each day.

Growing up our family said, "I love you" quite freely.  I was used to hearing it and saying it: on the way out the door, after night time prayers, at the end of a phone call (in fact I've bit my lip on the phone to keep from saying it to complete strangers out of sheer habit!)  This vocal family tradition has continued in our family and has made its way into the vernacular of each of our kids.

I smile every time I hear Bud say good bye on the phone to his cousins, with an "I love you."  I laugh along with Darlin', as she lets slip the familiar phrase on a voice mail for her best friend.  I cherish hearing Cupcake tell her siblings she loves them unsolicited.

One time while dropping our kids off at school the young lady in the car ahead of us leaned over to kiss her mom good bye as she headed out the door.  I teased Darlin' as we approached the drop off area, "Aw, she kissed her mom good bye," to which she retorted, "I was hoping you didn't see that."  I laughed and then hid in my heart the next thing she said.  "But, Mom, I tell you I love you know matter how mad I am at you."

True.  Very true.

Many a door has been slammed with a "Good bye, I love you!" or stairs stomped on the way up to bed with a muttered, "Good night, I love you."

What our teens have learned is that love is not a feeling!  They still love us, when they are upset, mad, and apathetic; and we still love them when we are angry, disappointed and hurt.  Love remains, despite our feelings.

This is a lesson that Cupcake is the process of learning.  Just this past week she has started questioning my love.  A few times, after she has been disciplined, she has asked, "Do you still love me?"  Of course, I do and I tell her so over and over through out the day...especially after she has been reprimanded...which is quite often during the Thundering Three's (Terrible Two's pales in comparison!)  Soon she'll be making the connection, as have her siblings, that Mom and Dad love her no matter what!

In the end, my kids have taught me to never underestimate the power of, "I Love You!" and the importance of telling them everyday!

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