My youngest child, Aaron, was quite honestly a cherub from birth.  He had absolutely the pudgiest cheeks you have ever seen.  He was always happy. He found it hilarious when one of his older siblings would take something from him.  They were his idols and could do no wrong in his eyes.  One of his first distinguishable words was “Q”, clearly meaning “thank you”, because it was inevitably spoken with a giant smile whenever anyone handed him anything.  The insanely long lashes that swept the top of his sparkling grey-green eyes only served to further testify to the angelic character of this child.  Don’t worry, it didn’t last forever.  He is as human as any child, and somewhere between the ages of five and six he snapped briefly, introducing us to what is now fondly remembered as his rage monster phase.  That will likely come up in a future post… stay tuned.  

But, oh my goodness, that baby made being his mom so easy!  One of my favourite things, as a woman whose most fluent love language is words of affirmation, was that he ALWAYS said “I love you too,” when I said, “I love you.”  Or if I said, “Good night sweet boy,” he would reply, “good night sweet mommy.”  He could be half asleep when I stuck my head into his room to say, “Sweet dreams precious boy,” and he would reply, “Sweet dreams precious mommy.”  Oh, my, how he filled my heart up!  For those of you who are tensing up now because this sounds like the beginning of a tragic story, relax!  He is a fabulous, super-chill fifteen year old now.  The chubby cheeks are gone and he’s not quite as affirming as he used to be, but he’s fine!  He’s healthy and safe!  It’s all good.  I’m just leading up to a precious moment, ok?

He was probably three-ish at the time, already fast asleep in his race car bed.  His obsession with Lightning McQueen was, by this time, deeply entrenched, and in all likelihood he was in his Cars pajamas hugging a Lightning McQueen stuffed toy with a good dozen matchbox cars tucked in and around him in his bed.  I cannot attest to that with absolute certainty, but that was pretty much standard operating procedure back then. I was on my way to bed for the night and poking my head in to see each of the kids as I usually did.  

Can we just stop and acknowledge how beautiful, peaceful and precious sleeping children are?  I have taken so many pictures of my kids sleeping.  For the record, they think its creepy and frequently tell me so.   Off the record, what they don’t know is that on those days when they are driving me nuts and I am trying with all my might to avoid putting them on EBay, I scroll through those pictures.  My heart melts, and I thank God for my precious people.  They can be very grateful I take pictures of them sleeping.

Anyways, I tiptoed over to Aaron’s bed as I often did, leaned over, kissed his deliciously pudgy cheek and said, “I love you baby boy.”  He stirred slightly, and without opening his eyes replied, “I know.”  

Can I tell you something?  I thought my heart could not hold more joy than hearing my little one say, “I love you sweet mommy.”  But when his barely conscious little mind replied to my “I love you,” with “I know,” I cannot even give words to that joy, to that peace. And let’s be honest, I can give words to just about anything, am I right? 

I want SO MUCH for my kids to know I love them.  I want them to KNOW nothing can change that.  I want them to KNOW they are endlessly, unconditionally, desperately loved by their mother.

As I crawled into bed, and lay smiling in the darkness, it occurred to me to wonder, does God want that from me?  When he tells me he loves me in the million unique ways he does, does he simply want me to acknowledge his love?  When he blesses me with a husband and three amazing kids who are absolutely my favourite people in the world, does he want to hear me say, I know they are your loving gifts to me? When he says, no, not yet, to my fervent prayer, does he want me to acknowledge that I know it is because he loves me and has a better plan for me?  When he allows me to feel the pain of his discipline while walking a wrong path, when he gives me an opportunity to minister to someone I feel completely unequipped to bless, when he draws my attention to the stained glass beauty of the wings of a butterfly in my backyard and keeps it there long enough for me to take a picture, when he tells me he loves me in so many precious and powerful ways, is he simply longing to hear, “I know”?  

I think, sometimes, it makes him smile just to know that we know.  Ya know?

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