Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and it is apt that my kids seem to be getting their act together and are more expressive of their appreciation for Mummy. Here are some examples of their expressions of love.
“Thank You for Loving Me”
Our 6-year-old boy emerged from the kitchen as the rest of us were settling down at the dinner table. Setting a cup of juice in front of his mother, he turned and smiled. “This is for you, Mummy. Thank you for loving me.” He then headed back to the kitchen. “I’m going to get more juice for Daddy and Kor Kor,” he declared.
Our little one’s actions did not go unnoticed. It was the first time that he had served any of us at the dinner table, and this is the same child whom we’ve often had to “chase” to complete the tasks allocated to him. So when we asked him why he decided to serve juice to Mummy, he calmly said, “I am so grateful that Mummy has forgiven me even though I sometimes treat her badly.”
It was a moment of celebration for us, however small.
“I Love You, Mummy!”
On a separate occasion, I asked my children what their mother does that makes them love her so much. After all, my wife is the unseen hand around the house; tirelessly cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, ironing, packing, and also spending time as their personal teacher and instructor.
In response, our 6-year-old said he loves her because she always reads books to him and forgives him when he does something wrong. As for our elder boy, he particularly enjoys it when she teaches him, plays Monopoly with him, and comes into the room at bedtime to kiss him.
“I Love You to Neptune and Back!”
We tend to have the most interesting conversations in the car.
Just last week, the boys spontaneously declared the extent of their love for their mum as we were driving them to meet their grandparents. “I love you more than all the leaves on the trees and the buildings in the city,” said our 8-year-old who one day hopes to be an architect. “And I love you to the Moon, to Mars, to Jupiter, to Saturn, to Uranus, to Neptune and back!” declared the 6-year-old, his mind fresh from our recent stargazing trip in Malaysia where we did a study of the planets.
“And Mummy,” continued our little boy, “There will be a day when I will choose someone to marry. I want someone not too fancy and not too ugly, but someone just like you.” I was driving and my attention was focussed on the road, but I could almost see the tears in my wife’s eyes.
She asked our son why he had come to such a decision, and he articulated that looks are not the most important; what matters is what lies on the inside.
As Sue and I talked about the incident later that night, we were both astonished at the depth of maturity expressed by both our boys.
It’s the Little Things that Matter
As parents, we do many things each day for our children. From the moment we wake up till the time we sleep, we would have done countless things for and with them – preparing meals, teaching them (particularly relevant for us as a homeschooling family), playing games, going out, taking them for sports and other activities, reading, praying, and finally tucking them to bed.
As we plan their daily schedules, there are some things that seem to be more important, such as choosing which classes our kids should be attending, or planning a family movie day out. And then there are the things that we often don’t think about, such as preparing their meals or putting them to bed.
What I’ve realised is that children may appreciate the “big” things, such as sports class, but they also remember the little things, such as playing with them, cooking their favourite dish or tucking them in at night.
What I’ve realised is that children may appreciate the “big” things, but they also remember the little things.
We can’t pinpoint how they have come to be more mature and appreciative but it probably has to do with how often my wife declares her love for them – and she likes to use the phrase, “I love you to the moon and back.” So I believe that our children are always learning from us.
We have also spent the past few years investing in their lives, imparting values and guiding them to make wise choices. It has been a bumpy journey and at times we locked heads, but somehow our efforts are beginning to bear fruit now – and we are thankful.
Mark Lim is Consultant & Counsellor at The Social Factor, a consultancy company which conducts training on life skills such as parenting, counselling, mentoring and special needs. He and his wife Sue co-write a parenting blog Parenting on Purpose, where they chronicle the life lessons from parenting two young boys aged 8 and 6.
This Mother's Day, we invite you to celebrate small victories and rediscover the joys of motherhood. Join us at www.family.org.sg/mothersjoy today!
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