Lessons on Love

I had grand plans for a second blog post featuring this wonderful idea a friend shared on Facebook.

On the first day of February you add a heart to your child’s door with a reason you love them. Each day until Valentine’s Day you add a new heart with another affirmation.

I love the simplicity of this exercise. It is a little thing but it accomplishes so much: creating excitement for a holiday, decorating without huge expense, building a child’s self esteem, and teaching them lessons on love and how to nurture a relationship.

Since our little man is still too young to really get into this activity, I had a scheme to pull my husband into a couples craft project by making hearts for each other!

Sadly, stomach viruses don’t really care about your grand plans. 😕

Despite my stubbornness to push through, I finally had to stop and accept that I was sick. Dishes and laundry piled up as my husband tried to manage taking care of me and our toddler. By day three there was nothing for it – time to call mom.

No matter how old you are, there’s nothing more powerful than the love of your parents. As my love for my son grows and grows, I am beginning to actually understand how deeply and selflessly my parents have loved me.

Without hesitation, my mom came over, armed with all her tricks, the tried and true homegrown medicines: first a big hug, then hot tea and vitamins, all administered by those healing hands that banish headaches and cool fevered foreheads.

After the loss of my father, and all that did to shake my sense of security, it was so so good to sink into my mother’s caring arms and feel safe.

As I finally came through the stomach bug and began to feel healthy again, I felt about one second of guilt for missing the boat on my Valentine’s Day craft. And then I got over it real quick. When your son gets up at 1:30 in the morning having nightmares for the first time, you get your priorities straight FAST.

As my husband and I snuggled and soothed our sweet boy, cocooning him between us in our bed, my understanding of a parent’s unconditional love came full circle. As easily as my mother gave her energy and caring to me only a day before, I gave my baby all the love in my heart.

Just when we neared our wits end with over an hour of tossing and turning, crying and whining, he finally seemed to be calming down. Turning to my husband, he touched his arm and said “Dada,” as if confirming he was there. After Dada’s reply of “I’m here,” he did the same thing to me and I assured him as well.

Then my sweet boy said something that brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.

He settled into the space between us and softly said, “Gogo,” which was the name my father had chosen for himself as a grandpa. And I felt my father’s presence so strongly that I knew he was right there, helping his own baby girl and comforting the grandson he barely got to know in life.

A parent’s love is unconditional, and unending. It stays with us, always.

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