I’ve been noticing it lately, too. One constantly needs to be held, the other wants all of my attention. The three of us are attached at the hip, in the best and worst ways. I’m comfort for one and solace for another..
It’s hard. It wears on me physically and mentally. It leaves me touched-out and checked-out by the end of the day. But as hard as it is for me, I know it’s difficult for you, too.
I know it feels like the kids don’t notice you sometimes. They call out for me, even when I’m not there—I know that hurts. You want to be their soft-landing place, too.
But you’re right about one thing.
They don’t notice you.
They see you, for everything you are. I know this to be true for so many reasons.
When I sit down on the couch, our son always brings me the softest blanket he can find.
When he wakes up in the morning, he tells me how much he missed me last night.
When he gets himself a juice box from the fridge, he brings me back my favorite bubbly water.
When he sees that I’m upset, he tries to make me laugh (albeit with potty jokes, but still).
He knows my favorite things. He compliments me—from my new shirt, to my “awesome brain”.
He makes me smile on purpose.
Do you see it yet? It’s all you, babe. All of it. YOU are his muse, his greatest example. Your selflessness, your devotion, your kindness—it’s contagious and he’s caught every bit of it.
Soon, he’ll be your shadow. I already see change on the horizon. He’s asked that you be the one to put him to bed every night this week. Your interests are his interests. Baseball. Farming. Trucks. Although it makes my mama-heart ache, I’m more than aware of the ebb and flow of parent-child relationships. I just hope I can handle it as gracefully as you have.
You’re probably wondering about our daughter. I know you were expecting a daddy’s girl from day one, but between breastfeeding and staying at home with her, she’s currently a loyal member of #TeamMama.
She may only have a handful of words, but I know she sees you, too.
She sees you smiling, even though you’ve had a hard day at work.
She sees you taking the time to play with her, even though you have a million other things on your plate.
She sees you doing the dishes and sewing her tattered lovey, even though society says that’s not your job.
She sees how you value our family above all else, even when it would be easy to put us second.
And as she grows up, she’ll keep seeing, and she’ll learn so many things from you. Invaluable things, like how real love is unconditional, and that she will always, always have a soft place to land.
And that is all because of you, my love.
This essay was originally published here.