To my toddler, things are busy: You are busy. My mind is busy. We are both doing our best. I may tell you “no” or “please make the right decision” all too often, but what I do know is that when I look at you, I feel an immense amount of love. It surpasses the depths of my fatigue and frustration.
At the end of every evening, after we have read your three books, sung your two songs, and uttered our prayers, we rest in your bed together (as you have likely begged me for “more snuggles”).
My dear toddler, I am wiped, and yet, there is a pile of dishes and emails needing answering, but I acquiesce because you are my baby. Though you tell me, “Go away!” and “Stop talking, Mom!” during the waking hours, in the evenings, you pull me closer and plead for hugs. In these moments, our frustrations melt away. I am your mommy, and you are my baby.
We somehow developed this habit. A habit where, each night, I tell you that I’m sorry for my shortcomings and that I love you, I am proud of you, and that you are a kind and truly good kid.
Most nights, you nod and roll in close to my chest; other nights, you say sorry for throwing toys at the TV, dropping your milk, or chasing the cat–and you mean it. You want to be good. You want to make me proud. You want to feel nothing, but love.
Oh, my child, I do love you. I am proud of you. You are a good kid.
And I will tell you this until the end of time. Even when you’re fifty, and I’m waxing in old age. May these be my final words to you because there is nothing more real in this life than the way I feel about you, my baby. My forever baby.