Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reassuring Kids' Books

You have to love kids books.  Written with life's lessons, boiled down to a few pages each.  Written to reassure kids that they are loved and safe.  I wonder if the authors realize how reassuring they are to parents as well.

I was going to write a post about the beginning of our week, looking for some "Been there, felt that, now I own the app", kind of responses.  T had been sick for a couple of days, we were cooped up in the house, and it felt like I alternated non-stop between crying children.  I would get one to stop, only to hear the other start.  When B got home Tuesday, it was me who was crying.  I needed a break, badly.  I needed to get away and have some alone time, real alone time.  It's been 20 weeks now since K was born and I've been out of the house without her a whopping total of three times.

And then the guilt creeped up and took hold of me.  Now I was crying because I felt like a horrible mother.  What kind of mother needs to get away from her kids??!!

I was feeling better today, although still a little guilty.  T picked out this night-night book and it made a lot of sense to me. It's called, "I love you so...", by Marianne Richmond.

Here is what it says inside.  It's kind of long, but it's worth the read:

I love you
How much?
So much
How much is so?
Way, way more than you know

I love you as brilliant as each sparkling star, and as way out as space, I love you that far.
I love you as gigantic as a great lion's roar, and as deep as the ocean, I love you much more.

That is a lot you say, but how did it start?  Where did love come from to be in your heart?

You put it there really, when you and I met, and I knew for certain, without you I'd fret.
From my head to my toes, I was feeling inside, a devotion for you, so deep and so wide.
And now its enormous and wonderfully real, and hard to describe how much I feel.

I love you as awesome as a thundery sky, and as soaring as mountains, I love you that high.
I love you as silly as a puppy dog's kiss, and as quiet as midnight, I love you like this.

Do you love me every day, you ask with doubting awe, or does love go up and down, like a teetering see-saw?

I love you as steady as the earth rounds the sun, though some days of life are the furthest from fun.

Like when you feel mad, you ask with distress, cause I've broken the rules, or made a big mess?
Or when I'm unkind and your feelings are blue?  Do you love me although I do what I do?

I love you being mad and when you're cranky too.  I love you without liking the naughty things you do. 
My love you doesn't change like the temper of the days.  Its a certain kind of thing, in many different ways.

You're my sweetie, my dear, my smile and laughter.
You're my playmate for always and my joy ever after.
Hanging out with you is where I want to be, eating ice cream sundaes or watching the TV.
Under your umbrella, behind you on a bike, by you and beside you is what I really like.

Do you love me just as much when I'm far away from home?  Is your loving still the same in the distant lands I roam?

I love you near or far, I love you high or low.  My love is there with you, where ever you may go.

Even when I'm sick and I can't get out of bed?  Do you love me better healthy than with fever in my head?

I love you sick or able, you're always you to me.  The one I love forevermore, undeniably.

(Here's where I always choke up)
I can't imagine life before you came along.
Me there singing senseless, no meaning to my song.
Call it meant to be, or simply blessed fate, you fill my heart with love and for that I celebrate.

I love you

How much?

So much

How much is so?

Way, way more than you know

So, I figure, not only do kids need this kind of reassurance in their books, but so do their parents.  If someone has taken the time to write this down, it's because they've lived it too.  They've had those trying moments with naughty or sick kids and felt the guilt later.  I didn't get frustrated for lack of love for my girls.  It was because I love my girls so, so much and that kind of love doesn't change with the days.  That kind of love is solid, stable, and always there, even if I do need a break, or a book, to remind me.

By the way, I wrote the above completely from memory, that's how much I love and have read this book to T and now K.  Wonderful book, Ms. Richmond, from one I'm sure knows a mother's love all too well!

1 comment:

Erica said...

First and foremost, thank you for sharing a very personal story with us. I find myself in this situation more often than I ever imagined. As a stay-at-home mom full time, I am constantly and consistently (I know they are similar words, but I really feel both apply) surrounded by my kids, or doing something for my kids, or attempting to figure something out for my kids, when I am sleeping it even feels like it's for my kids so I am rested enough to not yell all day the next day, haha. I have been able to escape only a few times for a few short hours without the kiddos and I am telling you not to feel bad about it. I tell myself this, and I hope it's something that is true, and not something to just try and make myself feel better...

If I am not the best "me" I can be, then there is no way I will be the best mom, wife, friend, etc. Of course, I would love to have more time to work on myself. Of course I would love to have a career to make myself more well rounded (at times). But right now, this is my job and I do love it. However, just because I am a "mom" does not mean I am not human. I am only going to crack so many times before I break. If I do not take even 10 minutes to have time to myself every now and then, I will have a major meltdown.

I learned this the hard way in July. Mat was gone so much, I couldn't take that alone time and what happened? One day I just *broke*. No, not on or at my kids...but I sobbed and cried and paced around the house like a blubbering idiot. John Thomas followed me quoting his favorite book which made me feel 1000 times worse: "What's wrong little pookie? Your bright eyes are wet! Come over and tell me why you are upset?" No joke. And side note: alone time, especially when Mat has been out of state for 10 days, is not when the kids are in bed. It somehow just does not count.

Anyway, my rambling and confusing point is this: you are not alone. You are not terrible for wanting to get away from your kids sometimes, either. It doesn't mean you don't love them. I think it just means that you're human. Don't be so hard on yourself, your girls obviously know how much you love them. Thanks for sharing the book!!