“What would you rather do, play that computer game or come and give me a hug?” I ask my daughters.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Gemma-Rose says, “Hug you of course!”
“Do you even need to ask?” says Sophie.
I am humbled. What did I do to deserve such love?
I love my children so much it hurts.
“I love you so much,” I say.
My girls smile. “We know that!”
Maybe my children weren’t always aware of just how much I love them. I used to give them the impression I loved the good opinion of other people more. I would say such things as…
“You can’t wear that! What will people say?”
I used to complain and criticise and never appear satisfied.
I wanted people to think I was a perfect mother with a perfect house and perfect children who were perfectly educated.
But my children aren’t perfect. Nor am I. One day I realised my kids love me just the way I am. They don’t say, “We’d love you more if you were a better mother.” Actually their unconditional love makes me want to be the best mother in the world.
So I love my children the way they love me. They don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to impress. It is enough that they are my children. My love for them overflows my heart. Yes, I love them so much it hurts.
Why does it hurt so much? Perhaps love is like a dart that wounds the heart. Maybe I imagine how I would feel if my children were no longer around. I hold my children tight, close my eyes and my heart suddenly contracts with love, but also fear and pain at the thought of losing them.
I don’t know what is ahead of us. I don’t know how long I will have my children. At the very most I will have them here with me in our home for only a few years. So I have to make every moment count. Make every day as joyful as I can. Live life in a way that brings us together, and doesn’t push us apart. Live so there are no regrets. Love until it overflows.
Nothing is more important than love. The most comprehensive curriculum, the best resources in the world, all the possible extra-curricular activities, all the experiences and opportunities I could provide, all the things I could buy … All these are nothing compared to love… the unconditional kind, the kind of love with which God loves me. It is love that has the greatest power to make our children grow and develop into the people they are meant to be.
“I’ve come to give you your hug.” Gemma-Rose climbs onto my lap. I place my cheek next to hers and drink in the sweet smell of her hair. I wrap my arms around my daughter and I feel so very, very thankful that I have children who have taught me about love.
As we sit and embrace I remember another hug and another blog post. It’s been two years since I wrote Time to Unschool. I am two years closer to the end of our homeschooling days… but I’ve had two more years of love. And for that, I am truly grateful.