That’s what I say to both my kids, “I love you most.”
My youngest will sometimes ask, “Does that mean you love me more?” I always answer, “No. It means I love you most. I love you both most.”
As I’ve probably written before, I was, in at least some ways, afraid to have kids. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to parent them. My husband was afraid that I would leave them. Neither one of us thought I would know what I was doing.
I still may not know what I’m doing, but I know I love my kids, and I know my kids know that I love my kids. That is, to me, in many ways enough. My goal was that they would know that they were loved, and therefore, hopefully, at least some or even most of the time, know that they were lovable. Just because. Just because they’re them.
It’s something I didn’t know. It’s a foundation I didn’t have. I had one parent who never really said anything nice and loving, who, in fact, usually just teased and made fun of me – and of anything nice and loving – but who showed up when I needed someone. When we could no longer live with my grandfather. When I was sick or anorexic. And I had one parent who always said really nice and loving things, but who didn’t show up.
I didn’t know I was loved, and I certainly didn’t know I was lovable. In fact, I was pretty certain I wasn’t lovable.
Loving my kids has been a hoot.
It’s a hoot how easy it is to love them. It’s a hoot how easy it is parent them – even if I don’t always do it “best” or “right.” (As if there’s a “best” or “right.”) It’s a hoot how easy it is to never leave them, to always show up for them, to say a lot of nice and loving things.
It’s a hoot how easy it is to give them so many of the things I wish I’d gotten, and it’s a hoot how giving it to them has given it to me. At least one of my kids would probably say (definitely say) I give too much and say it too much and am totally annoying.
I always say, “I love you most,” in return.
I love loving my kids most. As most as I can. For today, because probably and hopefully tomorrow will be even more.
I love them most.
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