*This post was originally posted on the BabyCenter Blog. As I reread it I was reminded of the fact that yes, the days are long but the years are short. The love for my children can be overwhelming. They are older now, but every bit of this is still true.
My children. I know there are days when your mommy is not so nice. There are times when I lack patience and my temperament is off kilter. During those moments, never doubt my love for you. Know that those times are few and that the other times, times I am paralyzed in the light of your very being, your very existence, are far more often. I become frozen, my eyes glued to the future, in awe of all your potential.
I know sometimes I don’t see you. We’re running out the door or you’re fumbling for the right word, and I’m not truly with you. I’m sorry for that. I do see you. I see you at times when you don’t even notice.
I watched you, my son. The other night when we let you stay up extra late so we could watch the stars. We sat on the driveway and looked for planets and constellations. Then, just before bed, you asked to go out one more time. We sat on the back porch and you told us to cover our ears. We didn’t know why but we obliged.
You looked up at the sky and your little mouth moved slowly. I’m not sure you even uttered a whisper. Then you admitted you had wished on a star – to be a policeman when you are older.
I cried. I couldn’t help it. You are so sweet and innocent with so many wishes and dreams ahead of you. I don’t know why you didn’t want us to hear you, but I saw you, my son. I saw you.
I watched you, my daughter. The other night you were dancing with your daddy. Oh, how you love to dance. You close your eyes and spin around, ever the dramatic one. This time we happened to be watching a number from So You Think You Can Dance.
You spun around, ballerina like, as I listened to the words of Lana Del Rey.
Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?
Will you still love me when I’ve got nothing but my aching soul?
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?
There they were, the tears streaming down my face. My lovely little girl. I will always love you, and I will always think you are beautiful. Always.
As I watched you, I saw it all – your past, the present and your future. It was like a bolt of lightning, gone before I could even register it.
But I saw you.
We stare at them, our children, hoping and praying that all their dreams will come true, that we, as their parents, are doing everything we can to ensure they have all the opportunities possible. We want them to work hard, to be honest, to have talents and skills, to be recognized and seen for all that they are and all they can be.
We need to keep staring. Sure, they can be irrational, frustrating and ridiculous – tiny ears that never seem to be working. It is easy to focus on the humdrum of the everyday, on the negative, the things that drive us crazy.
We need to try harder. Because in those moments, when we truly see our children, time stands still and the tears fall. Because sometimes the love in our hearts, becomes too much and it has to overflow into the rest of the world.