Unintentionally Sad Blog Post

One of my clients recently told me her children are 18 and 16 years old. I asked if her oldest was still home or off at college. This was her response…

My daughter is 18 and a senior. She is headed to college in the fall. I go back and forth between wanting to change the locks while she’s at school to following her around the house like a puppy saying, “Why do you want to leave me?” Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was cutting her grapes in half and sleeping on her floor when she had a fever? Sigh . .

You know in movies how something small, like a phrase or song, will cause the lead characters eyes to glaze over as the movie transitions to a black and white memory scene?

This is nothing like that.

But the email did bring tears to my eyes as I remembered my senior year of high school. My last year with my mom.

I remember summer 2004 when we would eat junk food and watch terrible TV. I remember awkward conversations. I remember laying my head on her shoulder for comfort. I remember questioning decisions in her life, only to have her catch me off guard or blow me away with her answer.

And I remember so much more, but those things would only embarrass me to share!

My senior year of high school, my mom and I began a transition from parent-child to parent-adult child, aka friendship. We never quite finished that transition, but I’m so glad we had the opportunity to begin that bond.

After forcing away the urge to cry, I smiled. I couldn’t bring myself to mention losing my mom. I don’t want to scare the woman! But I did write her this…

I remember my senior year with my mom. I learned so much about who she was.. How strong she was.. I say you have every right to follow your daughter around like a puppy. Give her extra hugs and kisses. Share some private mom/daughter time. She may not ever tell you, but it’s the best gift she’ll ever receive.

That goes for you, too, reader. I don’t care where you are at in your life, but you have every right to follow your children around and remind them of how much you love them. You never know when you won’t be there to remind them again.

End unintentionally sad blog post.

Lub U

I tell Charlotte that I love her every chance I get. The child hears me say it no less than 10 times per day. Tonight, while Charli lay back against me and watched my face intently, I told her I loved her. “Love you!”

She looked up at me with her big, blue eyes, and said “lub u.”

For the first time!

She smiled a smile that would melt the coldest if hearts.

I will remember the look on her face and the deep connection within our stares for the rest of my life.

I have been loved, but there is none greater than this!

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My Niece’s Love

I received a gift beyond measure today. The gift was so meaningful and so powerful it brought tears to my eyes.

I have loved and adored my niece for more than 13 years. I am so proud of the intelligent, caring, beautiful young woman she is becoming. My sister is one heck of a mom to raise this girl on her own.

I was only 13 years old when she was born, and I didn’t know the first thing about being an aunt. I loved dressing her like a mini me and playing with her. As I grew into the person I am today, and my nieces life changed, our relationship evolved.

I am proud to say that she is one of my closest friends. I’m honest with her even when the questions are tough. I tell her what is right, not what is easy. I don’t always tell her what she wants to hear, but she knows I mean well. And she knows that she can tell me anything. And as long as it isn’t anything dangerous or harmful, I keep her secrets.

I’m so grateful that HOS understands our bond. I told him once that if – God forbid – anything were to happen to my sister, I would fight tooth and nail to keep my niece with me. I would never lose her. He would fight for her by my side.

My goal, especially since becoming an adult, is to be a role model for my niece. I want to be someone she can turn to. Someone she can look up to. And someone she can be proud of.

Most people spend their whole lives never knowing the impact they have on another person. We never really know what sinks in or what matters. … But today, I learned that I am exactly who I wanted to be for my niece.

I received the greatest gift today in the form of a PowerPoint. My niece’s teacher sent it to my sister who shared it with me. The presentation was all about my niece – who she is, what she likes, what she wants to do when she grows up…

And on one of the last slides she wrote this:

“My Aunt taught me that if I’m not happy with something in my life that is in my control then change it – therefore I’m never unhappy with anything that is in my control.”

When I read that, I knew my mom would be proud of who I am. And I cried happy tears.

Truest Love

I think one of the great questions of humanity is how to know what true love looks and feels like.

I cannot accurately answer that question, but I vividly remember the few times I have seen it.

The first time, HOS and I were getting a sonogram to find out the sex of “lil’ red”aka Charlotte. HOS stared at the screen in wonder as the radiology the shower us the first pictures of our baby girl. I wish I could describe the look on his face and do it justice. Instead, I’ll just say that it was like he was experiencing joy, pride, excitement and awe in its fullest and purest combination. It brought tears to my eyes.

The second time, HOS was in Dallas for work and Charli said dada for the first time. Charlotte and I Skyped him that night, and just before the ended, she said dada. It doesn’t matter that we knew she wasn’t actually talking to him, but it doesn’t matter. That moment is magical. HOS had the same look on his face that he had at the sonogram.

The third time isn’t a specific instance. It’s a collection of moments when Charli is laughing, playing, singing or dancing and I catch a glimpse of HOS watching her. And he has that same look.

To this day, the way HOS looks at Charlotte still brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips.

I may be young, but I know I’ve seen what true love. It’s in the way HOS looks at our daughter. There can be no love greater.