I found this under her pillow the other week.
A note that I had written her almost 2yrs ago. Just after Sophia was born.
A note that I wrote her late at night after she had fallen asleep and a note that I then snuck under her door on my way to bed. I wanted her to find it early in the morning before anyone else was awake. I wanted a little element of surprise for her, along with a long list of all of the reasons why I love her.
To that place of a new mom of three very young kids. A newborn in my arms, a two year old and a four year old. It brought me back to that place of utter exhaustion, of feeling like I was trying to keep it all together in those first few weeks after bringing a new baby home and trying to manage all of the emotions that flow through everyone when a new baby comes into a family.
It brought me back to that final feeling of defeat one day after a long hard day of trying to figure out how to curb the emotions of a sensitive little 4yr old girl who was trying to find her way with all of the changes that were happening in her family. A little girl who was so madly in love with her new baby sister--I mean, obsessed with this new little baby. But who was also realizing that life had changed.
So I sat down at my kitchen table after tucking the last little body into bed that night and tried to come up with a different strategy. Because if I've learned anything from parenting it's that sometimes it's important to lay down the law--to use that I mean business voice and to have boundaries and reasonable consequences--BUT, I also know that it's just as important to take a step back especially when you feel like you're at your wits end, and take a totally different approach.
So I did just that.
I sat down that night and made her an I love you Mya because... card, and I sat there and scribbled down all of the things that I loved so much about her. All of the things that I was so proud of her for. All of the things that we would say to her and her siblings, but things that I had never actually written down before FOR any of them.
And so early that next morning she found that little note, and she has secretly held onto it ever since.
Those words from her mom, written down.
They meant something to her.
They meant a lot to her.
She would ask me to read my little note to her every night before bed after I gave it to her. It became our bedtime ritual, just her and I snuggled up in her bed at night. So she would fall asleep with the words of her mom running through her head--all of the reasons why she was so very very loved.
So as I went to change her bedding that day just a couple of weeks ago and found that crumpled up note tucked under her pillow it made me realize how important it is for me to continue writing notes to all of our kids. To write them notes telling them how amazing they are, how proud Terry and I are of them, and how and why they are so incredibly loved beyond words.
And especially on those days when a mom feels like nothing is working--it's amazing how a little love note can change so much in a child.
And as I look at our now 6yr old, and I sit there practising her French presentations with her at the kitchen table or sitting with her at the piano practising for her next lesson, I think back to when she was 4 and I felt like I needed to write that note--and it feels like a million years ago.
So I'll get my pen out more often now. On the hard days, but also on the great days too--because imagine how great it would be for our kids to have a pile of love notes from us to hold onto in the years to come.