One of the greatest gifts in the world is to be able to raise a child. Never in my life have I experienced such love for another person as the heart tug I feel every time I look at my babies – they are 7 and 8 but they will always be my babies.
I waited longer than most do these days to have kids, which for me was probably a good thing. By 31, I was able to be more patient than I probably would have been at a younger age. And I was at a place in my life where I would be good for them. It helped to be in a place where I knew who I was and liked myself. It helps to be in a place where I wasn’t having kids to fill a loneliness inside myself. It helps to be in a marriage where I am loved for who I am.
I loved holding my kids when they were babies, to smell the sweet scent of baby lotion on their soft sweet skin. To hear their little breaths and sighs as they slept. To laugh with them and to kiss their boo boos. To see their personalities come out like when Elizabeth would lay on her boppy with her head hanging off or putting a toy on her head and would just sit there waiting for us to laugh. Or when Thomas would walk into walls on purpose to make us laugh and scoot on his back instead of crawl because that was easier for him.
Everyone says my daughter is me to a “T”, in other words, she talks a lot. She is also short and skinny (I was when I was young – one of the only bad things about having kids – weight!) She is such a happy girl and enjoys life. She is inquisitive and has an opinion about everything (something else she gets from me). She is very much an artist – she loves to draw and has a vivid imagination. She isn’t the type to sit and cuddle – never was – but she gives hugs and kisses freely, tells me she loves me all the time, tells me she thinks I’m pretty (especially w/out makeup) and tells me I’m a good mommy. With every kiss and hug and every time I tuck her in at night and check on her to make sure she is covered up my heart grows leaps and bounds.
My son is like his dad passive and let’s most things roll off his back. He favors me in his coloring and his sense of humor – he likes to make people laugh but only in small groups. He is a happy boy who laughs all the time. He may not look like he is paying attention but he listens intently. He is very much into technology. Show him once and he can do it. Where his sister is not a lover, Thomas is a grade a mommy cuddler. Wherever I am sitting he is either right by me or laying down with his head in my lap. Always easy with the hugs and kisses. Just as with his sister, every time I tuck him in and make sure he is covered up during the night, my heart grows leaps and bounds.
I love them unconditionally. No matter how many times I have to tell them to clean their rooms, no matter how many times they may get a spanking or sent to their rooms, no matter what they decide to be when they grow up, no matter if they are straight A students or not, no matter how many mistakes they make; my love for them will never cease but grows every day.
My job, as their mom, is to nurture them and to train them up to be good adults. To help them know the difference between right and wrong, behavior that is respectful, caring and giving. I do this with my words, actions and reminders. When they were born they ate and slept, there wasn’t much to teach them on those subjects. As they got older, we had to tell them and show what good decisions were. Then, just as today, they don’t always like it or appreciate it now but one day I hope they will thank us for loving them enough to have expectations and consequences.
I love my job. It isn’t always easy but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s sad that some people have kids and don’t appreciate how special and important it really is to be a parent. How much influence they have on a life and what that life might become. I pray I am doing a good job and I grow and learn more everyday.
With every kiss and every hug and every “I love you” my heart grows leaps and bounds.
April Dye is a wife and mother of two. She loves to read, watch movies and television, study the Bible, hang out with family and her job. You can follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/AprilVestalDye and on her blog at clardye.blogspot.com.