When children are young they are so good about expressing their love for us. I don't know if it's because I am an affectionate person and have always expressed my love to those around me numerous times a day but my little people are so full of "I love yous" and displays of affection, with lots of hugs and kisses through out my day. They think I am great...they squeal with delight when I come back in the house after taking out the garbage...because they are so young they don't see all my flaws quite yet and this is kinda nice. This is my favorite part of being a "mommy" again. When my 5 kids were young, they were the same way and I loved it.
Kids have a way of growing up and seeing the light so to speak in regards to their parents...they come to realize that we have flaws and make mistakes and have no problem whatsoever of pointing those out...and my kids had no problem bringing up those flaws or mistakes in front of company or even complete strangers. Once my kids came to the realization that I was not perfect and realized that they didn't always like me, things changed. They didn't display affections for me like they once did although they would still hug and kiss me and if they didn't I would make them...such torture, I know. I know they still loved me and they still stated that fact but their view of me was now tinted by my humanness. This is when I learned the art of forgiveness...meaning, I am far from perfect, I make mistakes and I needed to seek forgiveness from my children daily. The wonderfulness of children is that they are forgiving creatures. There is such beauty in grace and it is something I needed daily and I still do.
Eventually kids grow up all the way and do what I call "come full circle"...they start really liking you again...they start to appreciate your job as a parent...they come to realize that they in fact don't know everything and that we their parents aren't as dumb or mean as they thought...they come to see you as a person and if your really lucky they see you as their friend. All 5 of my children have reached this point of coming full circle.
I came to this realization this past week when I received a letter from my youngest son who is nineteen and lives thousands of miles away from me. He thanked me for all that I have done for him as his mom...for the things I taught him...how much he loves me and he called me his hero. I was speechless as I read this letter, which was followed with crying tears of joy. This letter is priceless to me, just as the letters I have received from my other children are, when they too, declared similar thoughts to me. There is no greater joy for me than these children of mine coming full circle. I am blessed beyond words.
In time, my little ones, will go through the next phase...the learning years is what I like to call them. Their view of me will become tinted with my flaws and my mistakes and I won't be this mommy hero to them for a period of time...I will continue to need their forgiveness and yes, I will make them still hug and kiss me, even when they don't want to...I know that they won't always like me and they will think I am mean...but that's okay because I know given time, they too will come full circle, and like me once again.