The depth of my love for my children isn't measured by the greatness of feeling in my heart, but rather the responsibility that comes with that feeling -- knowing that there are four little eyes that look to me for assurance in their insecurities. Having a mommy that they find comfort in when they feel scared or hurt or sad. Those four little eyes watch me in the most tender, loving way as they drift off to sleep and I hum them their song. They gleam with happiness as I celebrate their smallest and biggest achievements.
But there's more. There are four little ears -- four little ears that listen for patience in my voice. These ears are not naïve. They distinguish the slightest change in tone. The type of tone that can change the phrase "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!" to "What are you doing (Sweetheart)?"
That's not all. There are two little mouths -- two little mouths that repeat what I say. They say words that they don't yet fully understand -- phrases that no 2-year-old could know the true meaning of. Their innocence constantly being shaped by the things they watch, hear and say.
In all that we do, we influence our children.
There are children who grow up completely aware of all that is going on around them. They know that when Mommy is biting her fingernails while spacing out, she's anxious. They know that when Daddy doesn't make eye contact or give them the attention they're begging for, he's distant. Likewise, when Daddy locks eyes from across the room and smiles as bright as the sun, it's game time! When Mommy bends down and opens her arms, it's time for a bear hug! Without children, these are all things that I never thought twice about.
"So what if I walk around with a long face?"
"Who cares if you were offended by my words?"
"I don't feel like talking, so leave me alone."
"I didn't get any sleep last night, so don't even attempt to ask me for anything."
All things that need to be laid to rest when you become responsible for a child.
Our love is translated to our children in these most vulnerable moments. Our words, our expressions, our body language, tell them everything.
Remember that your love is expressed to them through all of your actions. In the good days, in the bad days and in all that we say and do, those little eyes are watching.
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