**Hey! Since our spotlight Friday on Raphael his Angel Tree donations went from $162.00 to $771.00!! Thank you so much everyone! I still think we can reach $1,000! Let's do it! To donate go here.
Then I added the additional threat of privileges being taken away to insure compliance. A couple hours later, right before I headed to bed inspiration struck....
I like to think I'm a good mom. I do all the good mom things. My kids are more than just well taken care of, they're loved and treasured. I try to respect them as individuals while at the same time ensure they are obedient and respectful in return. Yet there have been times I've wondered if they really feel my love. They crave attention and physical contact that sometimes feels bottomless--I have often wondered if I am giving enough and doing enough to fill their love banks. Anyone who's read The 5 Love Languages knows that everyone receives love differently. Telling PSP I love her and even special date nights, occasional crafts, nightly reading times, hugs and kisses... sometimes I just don't think it's cutting it. I've been consciously thinking and praying for ways to show her I love her in a way that will resonate with her. And in that moment I know that what she needed from a mom who likes order and obedience, was to see that I could give her a break just because I love her. So armed with only the light of my iphone, I snuck in her room that night and picked it up as quietly as I could. I then left a note telling her that I cleaned her room for her because I love her. Signed Mom (the cleaning fairy).
The following morning I found this note.
But it doesn't stop there. A couple nights later, as I was laying in bed about to go to sleep I read her note again. My heart was bursting with love for my little girl. Even though it had only been a couple hours since I put her to bed I missed her. So I got out of bed, crept into her room and up the ladder and laid next to her. Immediately she cuddled into me. Her hands grabbing mine in her sleepy state. I looked at those small, but not tiny anymore, hands and thought how quickly this is all going to go by. Those little hands won't be reaching for mine forever. She wouldn't always be a bedroom away. I told her I loved her and was surprised to hear her whisper I love you too with her eyes still closed.
The next morning I asked her if she remembered me coming in that night to cuddle her. No, she smiled, her eyes widening. I told her about my little visit and she giggled at the whole idea because she couldn't remember any of it. Not even grabbing my hands or whispering I love you. That night before we went to bed my husband found the following note in the hallway slid under her door:
Every night since that first late night snuggle she has been asking for me to come and cuddle her in her sleep. Sometimes she remembers our middle of the night cuddles, but mostly not. But every morning she wants to know if I came and every morning I tell her the details of what happened--whether she cuddled me back and responded to my I-love-you's or whether she was sound asleep. The one or two nights I haven't cuddled her I've been met with a little frowny face in the morning and a promise to come again that night. It's funny that something she mostly doesn't remember has become so important to her. The adult in me finds it cute if not somewhat baffling, but the little kid in me gets it. It's knowing that her mom cares enough to show up, and do something for her even if she doesn't remember. Especially during the 'off' hours, the dark and lonely sleepy hours when an extra snuggle can feel all the more comforting. I've been amazed how much this time means to her... and to me. It's helped to foster a little connection between us--different than our other connections. For her, it's me showing up and providing love and comfort I know she can feel even if she doesn't remember. For me, it's time for gratitude and reflection, remembering the peaceful babe she once was and beautiful girl she's becoming. I also can't help coming back to this universal truth about service and doing good unto others... or even doing bad unto others for that matter. Regardless of how much we try to restrict the consequences of our actions (again good or evil actions) solely to the intended target, we cannot help but be affected by our actions as well. In other words, it was impossible to give love and service to my daughter without also feeling the effects of that love and service myself. The ultimate win win.
By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
Nicely played Heavenly Father, nicely played.