Monday the kids had a snow day so I let them all sleep in. Olivia had gotten up earlier than the others so I was in the living room with her playing Garbage (she was mercilessly winning). Dillon came upstairs with a paper in his hand. "Here, I wrote this for you." I guess he had woken up that morning and decided to write me a love note. Here is what it said:
I love you even when you are mean to us. You are a really good cook and you are really nice. And when I get hurt you make me feel better. You are a good teacher and you are really fun. You are a good reader and don't hurt people. You are the best cook and you make things look neat. Sorry about my handwriting I don't really write neat. I hope you can be my teacher sometime. You make good projects. You are a good writer and a good driver.
Then he gave me a hug and a kiss. Now, I know this letter was meant to be a good letter that showed me that he loved me, but the first line seriously made me cry. See, for all of you out there that call me Wonder Woman and Super Mom and all those other things, that is so not true. I am a far cry from any of that. Everyone seems to think that if you have six kids you are patient and loving and kind. I try to be all of that, but I am not - especially patient!
I have been working for years to improve on my patience and kindness. While I have improved, this letter let me know that I have still have work to do :) I yell at my kids when I get overwhelmed and frustrated with them. I tell them at times that they are no longer allowed to call my name for the rest of the night when all I have heard for hours is "Mom, mom, mom, MOM!" There are many times that I have had to go to my children and apologize for my behavior and then gone to bed crying because of my feelings of failure for that day. There have been times when I have just had to remove myself (and not always gracefully) from the room which in turn has left my kids sad. Some days I just don't "feel the love".
I get so upset with myself when I fall short and I hope and pray that what I have heard is true - that children are given strengths for their parents weaknesses and that as long as I do my best my kids will be okay. I cling to that some days because I know that my weaknesses have overpowered the rest of me. I hope that my children look back on life and remember happy things and not just a tired, grumpy mom. I love my children with all my heart and I hope that my shortcomings don't break their hearts.
I'm not perfect, I'm not a super mom or wonder woman. Some days I wonder why God thought I could handle being responsible for six of His children! I feel very inadequate. I try to involve the Lord in all my dealings with my family, but I know I fall short in that too. Sometimes, I just take over and that's not always pretty!
I know the purpose of Dillon's letter was not to make me feel bad and point out the fact that sometimes he thinks I am mean to him. I know it was to express his love and tell me all the nice things he thinks about me. I love the letter and the funny little things like "you are a good reader and you don't hurt people". He has always been a very special boy to me that holds a very special place in my heart. From the time he was born, he has been that way. We have a very close bond that has grown stronger over the years and I'm glad that he can love me through my meanness. It was just a wake up call, I guess, that I still have a ways to go....