The other day as I dusted the desk of one of my children, I found something that made me pause, made me think. Raised a lump in my throat. It didn’t look like much, just a small, smooth stone with some writing on it, in pencil.
But the message startled me. It said, “I will never stop trying.”
It startled me, because this is a kid who sometimes doesn’t seem to be trying that hard, who doesn’t seem to care. For whom heated questions are often met with a shrug and an “I don’t know.”
But in those words I saw a spark, the ambition to do something bigger.
On the other side, I saw my child’s carefully penciled initials. A commitment, etched in stone. It gave me hope. It gave me a glimpse of a child I don’t usually see, one with a determined attitude, in pursuit of something great.
I dusted that little stone and replaced it where I found it. It’s just a small, nondescript thing. But now it’s inspiring two of us.
I say “I love you,” to my kids so often I’m sure they don’t hear it anymore. Well, to be honest, they don’t hear much of what I say these days. I can give a direction five times before anyone even acknowledges it.
But I persevere. I’m a doer, so I’m convinced that the little things I do will cut through the fog and instill themselves as some kind of ghost memory of my love in the minds of my kids.
Am I dreaming? Maybe. But if you think about all the annoying things you do just because you love your kids it gets to be a pretty long list.
No one who didn’t love you would do this:
- Cut up a mango. It’s a giant pain.
- Go to Chuck E. Cheese or one of its for-the-younger-set counterparts.
- Change a diaper. Any diaper.
- Use $10 in gas so you can go to a job that will pay you $40.
- Invite a friend to be the 6th at dinner when I only made enough food for five.
- Host a sleepover with more than two children at it.
- Let you eat in the car.
- And while we’re at it, prepare a homemade meal whose primary asset is that it was designed to be eaten in the car…
- …but skip dinner myself to drive you to your activity.
- Watch The Teletubbies while sober.
- Drive you to school in my pajamas.
- Pay your phone bill.
- Volunteer at a school event that requires me to produce an attractive and educational display…
- …or carve a map of Africa out of a pan of brownies.
- Spend the afternoon in a wet bathing suit.
- Play the same children’s CD in the car, every day, for a year.
- Make a 5-hour round-trip for the sole purpose of adopting a stray cat.
I could probably stay at this list all day. But I need to go drive some people around.
What’s the most annoying thing you do for your kids?
Read some other perspectives on love or link up at The Wounded Dove.