While we were watching TV together, Luke suddenly said, “Mommy, I don’t want you to change. I love you just the way you are.”

I had just yelled at him for something a while ago. So sheepishly, I said, “Even the bad part of me?”

He thought for a second, “Just a little drop.”

“A little drop of what?” I questioned.

“A little drop of darkness, but the rest is all rainbow.”

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At that moment, I felt like my little boy opened a slice of a window to his heart, and I knew he sees.

Dear friend, our children see us.

They see us when we lose our marbles, scrambling to keep everyone on schedulethey see that we are not always put together.

They see us when we are acting selfish, impatient, short-temperedthey know we are not always nice and lovely.

They also see us when we kiss their boo-boos when they cry, say sorry when we messed up, listen to their rambling about their little problems, hug them when they need one, stay up all night when they are sick, play tickle monster on demand, scratch their back watching TV, read the Bible and pray together after a shower, kiss them and tell them we love them, Buzz Lightyear before saying good night.

They see all of that. They see the real us. The good, bad, ugly, and glorious us in every moment during those short years they are under our roof.

We are the first humans they get to know intimately. Our images reflect the world they see.

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Thus, they need to know we are flawed, even when we try our best.

But it’s OK because they will see we are also capable of selfless love, have the attitude of servants and see that our lovely side is bigger than our sinful side.

Seeing all these will give them permission to make mistakes and know how to overcome their own failures.

They need to know. It’s OK to mess up.

Because one day they will see that underneath all that messiness, our love for them never changes. And they will see it’s our God who gives us the strength to love them fearlessly and selflessly.

From our loving hearts, they will see a glimpse of the shadow of Jesus.

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They don’t need to see perfect parents. They need to see two imperfect people, despite their shortcomings, trying hard to make it work.

Today I got the best compliment from my boy, and it was not the same old you’re the best mommy.

This morning I heard, Mommy, I love you just the way you are.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Ying McLane

Ying is a boy mom of three. An atheist immigrant turned Jesus follower. She runs the blog: www.mommyneedsgrace.com. She is a homebody who loves writing, painting, hot tea, and watching her kids play silly games.