You entered the world covered in muck and a squished-up face, leaving my body with irreversible scars both physical and emotional.

And yet, I loved you.

You screamed in the middle of the night for yet another feed, or possibly a diaper change from the poop-explosion you had been working so hard on, or perhaps you just wanted a cuddle to smell my un-showered, pungent aroma that brings you such comfort, or perhaps to hear my heartbeat which used to be so close to you. I just wanted to sleep for longer than two hours in a row and I gritted my teeth while I made the arduous two step-walk to your bed.

And yet, I loved you.

Food went flying, bowls slammed to the floor, howls of protest emitted from your mouth as I tried my best to feed you a nutritious meal that I really didn't feel like cooking but did anyway knowing you would fight me the whole time. I desperately wanted you to love being healthy, though you hated it and threw all my efforts right back in my face with the broccoli and mash.

And yet, I loved you.

While admiring how much your hair had grown, I tried so hard to console you when the brush hit yet another knot. I remember wondering if this will be the time that you decide you really will hate me after all this pain and anguish I inflicted on you. I did consider (and sometimes still do), that perhaps people won't think I am neglecting you if I just let you work on the bird's nest on your head. I decided it wasn't worth it to test it.

Because, if I'm being truthful, it's because I loved you.

The alarm clock disrupted my peaceful early morning slumber. As I blearily approach your room, I braced myself. Psyched myself up to avoid the anticipated argument to just have five more minutes of sleep when there were only 30 more minutes to be out the door for school. Walking the fine line between making it fun so we wouldn't waste precious time arguing and sending the message that I was serious felt like an impossible task.

But I did it all because I loved you.

You see, I can push through all the pain and anguish your struggle for independence causes. I can do all of this because I love you. Can you trust my love to continue? You bet you can. Because there is only one reason that keeps me loving you.

This one reason is because you are mine.

Now, one reason doesn't sound very reassuring, after all, it isn't much. Though consider this, if this is the only reason that I keep loving you, then no matter what you do, what you say, what you think, or whatever anyone else says, does and thinks, no matter what disaster happens in life, nothing will ever change the fact that you are mine.

Nothing will ever be able to stop me from loving you.

I sit here now, watching you as a strong-willed 7-year-old girl, doing all the family washing for $20 a week to save up for your cubby house. You complain about not getting much rest today after having enormous amounts of fun at the church's holiday kid's program. I'm strongly encouraging you to keep working at it to meet your goal (you know, boring stuff first, fun stuff next), feeling frustrated that I could have done this 10 times over by now, but I restrain myself from fixing all your hard work. To show you that I trust and value your efforts, that you can do this.

Because, above all, I love you, my child.

You might also like: