A horrible thunderstorm started right before my kids’ bedtime. One child was out like a light and the other was hiding under the covers reading her book, her body in a ball, trying not to cry.
I lay in her bed and she curled up beside me, resting her head right under my arm. You know that perfect parent-child cozy cuddle.
I start to sing our favorite church children’s song to my daughter for comfort.
In just a few seconds, I felt her body relax and drift off to glorious sleep.
I slowly sneak out of the room and when I turned the doorknob I hear, “Momma?”
I tiptoe back to her bed, wrap her blanket around her and say, “You are OK. Snug as a bug in a rug. Go back to sleep. You are safe, baby.”
Kisses on her forehead, and I slip out the door.
A week later in a conversation with my husband, I told him I was so glad to be home. Work had been immensely intense the past few dates and I ended my sentence with, “I’m so glad to be home. You guys are home. Home is my safe space.”
On a random day a few weeks later, my daughter was having a particularly rough day. She felt left out at the playground and a little less like a little kid, but not quite yet a big kid. I saw the struggle. I felt her pain. My heart hurt for her. I brushed her hair after a bath and gave extra hugs and kisses.
We snuggled up on her bed to read a chapter in her latest book. Right before she closed her eyes to drift off to sleep she said, “Momma . . . you’re safe.”
Every time she has a bad day and takes it out on me and cries in the shower because being too tired is a real thing.
Every time a social gathering has been too much for the toddler.
Every time the drop off in the morning just seems a little too tough.
Every time you are sick and need a little extra TLC.
Every time you get frustrated at homework and smart off.
Every time the nights are too dark.
Every time you bury your head in my chest, or pull on my leg, or hold my hand and hide behind me.
Or when you are eight and your friends aren’t being friends.
Or when you stomp off at the age of 11 because I don’t think you really should have that cell phone.
When you roll your eyes for the millionth time.
When you are 14 and text Come get me, Mom and don’t say a word about what happened.
When you are 16 and your first love breaks your heart and you need a fuzzy blanket, a pint of ice cream and a friend.
When you are 18 and that awesome new dorm room is just a little too much and home is quieter for the weekend.
When you are 21 and you can’t seem to land a job because everyone wants job experience and you are fresh out of school and young.
When your friend tragically passes away.
When you lose your grandparents.
When you finally realize that Mom wasn’t all that crazy when you were a teenager.
When you are 22 and you decide that love of your life needs to meet Mom (finally).
When you come and say I blew it with him or her.
When you just want a home-cooked meal on a random Tuesday or need to just come and hang.
When you come for Sunday dinner and tell me your job is taking you off to the great unknown and you need a place to crash for a few weeks in between (but my heart hurts because I want you to fly, but I’m gonna miss you).
When you need to cry because it’s just been a really horrible day.
When you ask my opinion on the outfit, the dress, the ring for that special person, or how to balance a checkbook.
To share your hopes, your dreams.
To understand that failure is a necessary evil in order to progress.
When I come and rock my grandbabies and stare in the awe of all of God’s goodness and you say what do I do now with this little bitty person? I’m scared I don’t know how to be a mom or a dad.
I hope that you will know and feel that I am and always will be your safe.
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