Tag Archives: family

I love you most

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.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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A letter from my father

I’ve written many times about how tough my relationship with Danny, my father, can be. I’ve told stories of his anger and distance when I was young, and of his anger and distance now that I’m an adult.

I wonder what he truly feels. I used to never know that he actually loved me. I used to never know that I was loved.

And then I find this letter that he sent to me the Thanksgiving after my first child was born (with a packet of letters I had written to him over the years):

    Daughty-san

    I thought you’d like to see these letters, both for the sweetness in them and for the insight they give you into a young girl’s mind. I know that you were once one (and still, in many ways, are), but that’s primarily the past, and sooner than you can imagine or believe, your child will be older. If only you had dated them.

    One recurrent theme in all of the letters is your fear that I will tease you for showing your love… I guess my own fear of showing emotion and the consequent vulnerability is stronger than I realize… But then again, as I pointed out to you recently, if I were not secure in my love for you, and yours for me, I would not feel free to play with it – hence the salutation.

    Many years ago, you asked me if I had to do it over again would I have children. What a ballsy question that was from a young and, as you can see from these letters, insecure girl. Ballsy questions deserve honest answers, and then, at least, I did not tease you. I didn’t know, I told you, because I had never not had children. I was still a child when you kids were born. However, I pointed out, no one had ever offered me anything that I would have traded you in for. You were then and remain now, just about the best thing that ever happened to me – although now there is your child to give you competition.

    I may not be much for ritual, or tradition, or holidays, but you should know that, this being thanksgiving, you are what I give thanks for.

    Lots of love and thanks,
    Daddy-san

    a.k.a Grumpa, King Kong, and D. D. of the D. (Daring Dan of the Deep)

I am always amazed when I realize his love for me. I am always validated when he realizes he doesn’t often show it. He calls out my insecurity, and doesn’t get that his teasing probably helped that blossom and grow. It’s all very interesting.

I am thankful for these letters, and I’m thankful for this love. I hold it dear, especially now that it’s so tough for him and for us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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What I’m giving Thanks for

It’s that time of year.

The time of year when all, or at least most, of us give thanks. We gather around tables with people we love (or sometimes, people we tolerate) and acknowledge all we have. And stuff ourselves.

I try to give thanks every day. Or nearly every day.

I’ve found that when I notice what I have, I feel better. When I call out what’s working, I feel better. When I appreciate the big and the little, I feel better.

Do you sense a theme?

Most days I list my good things in my “good year box” list on my phone. I counsel clients to write three things they’re grateful for each day, and what they did to contribute to those things. This highlights gratitude and self-efficacy, both of which strengthen our souls and minds. As often as I can, I stop and notice…and notice…and notice all the beauty and ease and light in my life and my day. And I feel better.

I am giving Thanks for so much.

For my family. For my older child home from the Midwest. For the amazing dinner my amazing husband has prepared. For the fact that I got to cook what I wanted to cook, and I got to opt out and put my feet up and rest when I didn’t want to cook. For my younger child who’s spent some quality time with me recently. For my friends and the multitude of people I care about. For the fact that I’ve found long-lost friends and made new friends.

For the fact that this time next year, my book will be out. Did I mention that I’ve signed with a publisher and my book will be out?

I have so much to be thankful for. I want to focus on it all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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