After a long day caring for her children, keeping up with her work as a writer, and keeping the house in order, Kristen LaValley goes through a cycle of emotions that parents everywhere can recognize. Often bringing her audience to tears, she articulates the feelings of concern and frustration and overwhelming joy in a way that is instantly relatable. Her familiar question rests in the back of every exhausted parents mind, and many comments on the piece have the same answer: “yes.”
The sun is going down. We’ve sung the last song, read the last book, and tucked you back into bed for the seventeenth time. The day is coming to a close and I breathe a sigh of relief. All day long, I look forward to the bedtime hour. Two more hours till bedtime. One more hour. Thirty minutes. 10 minutes. As soon as you’re in bed, the cleaning starts. I pick up the toys, wipe down the counters, wash the dishes, and fold the laundry. Then the relaxing starts. I put on my sweats, grab my snack, turn on Netflix, and snuggle up with your daddy. Then it’s my bedtime. I turn the t.v. off, climb into bed, and just before my head hits the pillow, I ask myself, “Did I love them enough today?”
You see, the day goes so fast, but the moments drag on and on and on. I know you don’t understand why the way you say my name drives me crazy sometimes. I know you get frustrated when plans change and people cancel and things don’t work out. I know how hard it is for you when I forget to toast your bread before putting the peanut butter on it and how life threatening that shoe to the head must have felt. I try to give grace because you probably didn’t mean to sit on your baby sister’s head … twice … in two minutes. But the truth is, I fail. So much. I snap. I cry. I angry text your daddy and threaten mutiny multiple times a day. I get sad and I can’t explain why. I get angry and have a hard time hiding it. I get lonely and insecure and frustrated and sometimes I say things that I can’t take back.
So when I get to the end of the day…the day that I’ll never get to have with you again…I go over the details, the highs and the lows, and I wonder if you felt loved the whole day. Once you’re in bed, sleeping soundly, I almost completely forget how hard the day was for me. In the moment, the chaos is so real, but when it’s over, it’s over and I just want to wake you up and say, “HEY! You did good today, kid.”
I hope that I loved you enough today. I hope that everyday you know that you are loved and that nothing you can do or say can change that. I hope that you see through my tears of frustration and know that I am so proud of you. You are the best thing I ever did. I love you fiercely and I hope you always know that. Not just in the long run, but every single frustrating day.
Did I love you enough today, little one? I sure hope so.
The time passes so quickly…and yet, it doesn’t at the exact same time. Once it’s over, we wonder where all of that time went. In the moment, we get angry and frustrated, but then decades pass and suddenly we would give anything to live even the most infuriating days all over again.
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