the hardest thing

Some days, the hardest thing about my day is that I can’t communicate to my son how much I love him. He’s 20 months old – old enough to understand so much of what I say to him (“Can you turn on the bath?” “Bring mommy your shoes, sweetheart.” “Don’t touch that! Too hot!”), and yet not old enough to understand this most basic – and 20131029_Hollingsworth-50most complex – concept.

Even on the mornings when he’s up at 5:20 AM, banging on the side of his crib and yelling (he’s not a quiet child) as if he hasn’t eaten for days, even on the afternoons when he refuses to nap and I accomplish not one of the too-many things on my naptime To Do list, even on the evenings when he throws his food on the floor and slowly spits out his water before erupting into laughter – even on these days, my heart overflows for him. 

And yet, I can’t tell him.

I can change his diapers and feed him well, I can read him Goodnight, Gorilla dozens of times in a row and try my very best not to explode when he pulls off the bottom grate of the fridge and carries it into the living room. (Again.) I can hug him in the morning and pray with him at night, I can sing his favorite songs and sit on the floor while he knocks over his blocks with glee.

No one told me about this part of motherhood.

No one told me that, some days, my heart would nearly break with love – but that I would feel mute, unable to communicate in the language that I use most often.

I imagine this is a bit like how our Creator feels about us. He loves us more than we can imagine, more than our small brains can fathom. He has demonstrated His great love for us – and continues to demonstrate it daily, through His grace and mercy – and yet we don’t understand it, not really.

We live our own lives, turn away, thinking mostly of ourselves. Some days I try to hold my son tightly, wrap him in the hug of my arms, hoping that this physical closeness will convey what my words cannot.

Inevitably, he wriggles loose too soon, running after his ball or the dangling computer cord or the favorite stuffed animal. I am left alone, overflowing with my love.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Filed under god & faith, motherhood, parenting

6 responses to “the hardest thing

  1. nancy mcalhany

    Just remember you have told him every second of every day how you love him and Jacob has heard and understood. It’s a better language than words in so many ways.

  2. He may not understand your love fully, now, as you communicate it in various ways to him; but just as he learned what “Don’t touch!” and “Bring me your shoes” meant, he will soon understand, by your modeling and his observations, that he is loved when you say, “I love you,” sooner than you may think. Keep it up, dear friend. Loving the posts, btw. Excellent food for thought.

  3. Ashley

    You just put words to the very thing I’ve been feeling the last 24 hours and I may or may not be crying as I wait to board the plane w my baby 🙂

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