My youngest catapulted himself on my bed and screamed something unintelligible that may have been "I love you" or more likely, "I am bored where is my iPad." My oldest texted me a sweet eCard from the comfort of her bed. And my middle came to me and gave me a big hug and said:
"I am sorry if you heard some yelling. I was just a little confused."
To which I replied:
"Well, I could not hear any yelling over your brother who was screaming things at me."
She, of course, was relieved and then went to yell at her brother.
Apparently, she remained "a little confused."
And friends, that is really motherhood. Your kids love you, on their terms, in their own special ways, much the same way you love each of them.
I know my oldest is graceful and kind--her show of love will be quiet and deeply meaningful (her card said "Thanks for always taking me to crew," which, well, melted my heart because it is a lot of work, but I know how much rowing means to her). She has a way of seeing people at the emotional level. I always try to remember to love Lily the same way--with quiet appreciation, meaningful hand squeezes and long, long talks about feelings.
I know my middle is very focused on perfection but at the same time a bull in a china shop. I pretended I heard nothing, but I did in fact, hear the shouting. But I also got her beautiful, thoughtful, perfectly hand drawn card, with her signature "heart person" inside. Chloe's been drawing her "heart person," an adorable doodle of a personified heart since she was in preschool. She knows I love the "heart person" so a card is never without it. Tradition is important to her--so I love her with tradition and acknowledgement and forgiveness, for the yelling, I heard, because we all get a little confused sometimes.
My son, well, sometimes I joke that he loves me the most. That isn't true, of course, he is just the most outward with all the love. He tells me I am pretty and he compliments my aggressive driving ability and also just wants to talk and talk. He also sometimes just wants to complain, in a highly explosive, dramatic way. He had some post-game complaints today and demanded to drive home with me and you know, he screamed most of the time. But, he needed me to just, listen, so I did.
And that friends, is the ultimate show of love my children each give me: they show me their truest selves--the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful and they love all the same parts of me.