In the notes I say all the things I would say if they didn’t drive me friggin’ crazy during the day. All the things I would say if I wasn’t too busy screaming at them to stop fighting, stop spitting, stop hitting, get dressed, eat their food, put on their shoes, brush their teeth, clean their toys, get into the car, get out of the car, get into the bath, get out of the bath, get into bed, get out of bed …
Getting through the day is so hard, the “I love yous” often fall through the cracks. I wish I could let my kids know how much I love them every waking moment, but that’s pretty much impossible when you spend an absurd amount of time reprimanding someone for biting your butt.
I do love my kids. Of course I do. I love them with a fierce mama lion passion. I love them more than anything in the world. And sometimes, I worry they don’t know that.
When I creep into my kids’ rooms at night, I’m always struck by how precious and small and angelic they look when they’re asleep. Their tiny hands. Their long eyelashes kissing the tops of their chubby cheeks. In that moment, it’s hard to believe they’re the same creatures that made me want to run away just an hour earlier. And in that moment, I am filled with an urge to tell them how much I love them. So I write notes. (Because I’m not crazy enough to say it out loud. I might wake the beasts!). And all of the love that’s been buried all day floats to the top of my heart and spills out onto the paper.
The next day, when the chaos kicks up again and we are all engaged in the daily battle that is life with kids, I hope my children remember the love in those notes. Because the mommy in the notes is the one I want to be. I want to be nice mommy. Kind mommy. Patient mommy. I don’t want to yell at my kids, but the insanity of it all just wears me down and I find myself losing it more often than I’d like to admit.
The other day, as I was cleaning my daughter’s room, I found a big pile of my notes in her bedside table drawer. She’s kept them all. Every single scribble I’ve given her over the years. I sat down on her bed with the paper scraps clutched to my chest and was struck breathless with the realization—she knows. Despite everything, she knows mommy loves her.