Friday, February 21, 2014

Overwhelming Love

A few weeks ago, after observing our children's treatment of me, Jeff asked, "How does it feel to be so loved?"*

I responded, saying "wonderful. And overwhelming."

The other day, I was in a room that is hidden from the main hallway, and from my vantage point, I could see and hear the children, but they could not immediately see me if they didn't go into the second room attached to the one I was in. First Alice went by (presumably looking for me), then Danny went by (definitely looking for me), and I could hear Jill calling for me.

My kids are all at ages where I am pretty awesome. I am the creator of fun and good times. They always want to be with me, and if they ever aren't wanting to be with me, then I can be sure one of two things: 1. they are on the computer or 2. they are doing something they shouldn't be doing.

It is pretty overwhelming. To be so needed. To be so loved. To be so important. To be so everything.

I reflect on how, at the beginning, they were dependent on me for everything. I met every single one of their needs, all their physical needs. They were literally a part of me. Then they were born, and I still met all of their physical needs. Every year, they detach from me more, needing me less and less.

This thrills me and simultaneously depresses me.

Also depressing is that I will also probably become less cool every passing year as well. I will probably never be more awesome in their eyes than I am now.

I will enjoy being able to go to the bathroom without interruption or audience. But I will really miss being the center of their world. I know it has to happen—a large part of my purpose as a mother is to help them grow to be independent so they don't need me. But still . . .

I take comfort in the knowledge of how much I still need my mom and dad. Hopefully my kids will be the same way. But that also is a little overwhelming, how it never ends. I made the decision to bring these sweet souls into the world, and my responsibility toward them because of that decision will never end. Ever.

Anyway. A lot of emotions. Mostly due to the fact that 2014 has finally come. 2014—the year that Jill starts kindergarten. Perhaps I should have sent her to preschool instead of doing it at home. Not because it will make it easier for Jill (she'll be fine), but because perhaps it would have made it easier on me.

Gah. I still have months of enjoying her company. I'll focus on enjoying them rather than dreading the imminent separation between myself and my firstborn. (Jill refers to herself as the firstborn sometimes, and I think it is hilarious.)

One of our kind, generous new friends here lent us two scooters for Jill and Daniel to use. Well, the two big kids do love to play with them, but surprisingly, Alice does, too! She holds on when Jeff and I push her around, and she climbed onto this one all by herself today. (That is not a bruise on her leg; it is a smudge on the camera lens.)

January was very dry with talk of drought and possible water restriction, but February has been giving us all the rain that we were supposed to get in January. The weather is still warm even with the rain, and the kids love playing in it.

I looked everywhere (I thought) for my flip flop today, and I could not find it anywhere. I asked around, but Jill and Daniel did not know, so I resolved that it must have been Alice and that I would probably never see it again, because I truly had (so I thought) looked in every imaginable place. Later, when I needed to go to the bathroom, I discovered its location. I never thought to look there!

It is almost Carnival time in Brazil! The embassy had a party today, and Daniel really liked his Carnival mask. He also really liked the samba music. (I bet you wouldn't have guessed that he could wear a pair of Jeff's shorts!)

Jill and some new friends dancing to the samba music at the Carnival party. Jill was excited to have a mask just like in "Rio" (that cartoon with the birds and Carnival.)

 *Our children love their daddy a lot, but they are often rather clingy to me, especially when they are upset.


  1. a. I LOVE Alice's little shoes. I want a pair for me. b. JILL! in that picture! Stop it! Does it just kill you? c. and then, DANNY! What did your children eat for breakfast the morning you took these pictures? Seriously.

  2. Also, usually after Devin has observed our girls treatment of me, he gets really frustrated and says something like "You guys need to start respecting mommy more". I'll have to take notes about what you do when you're here...

  3. I still love to be needed. It never goes away. I think I was 'clingy' too. I loved to (still love to) hold my kids.

  4. She's growing! Tell her to stop it! Miss you guys! —Michelle Boswell

  5. She is such a mixture of Jill and Danny. So, so cute!. Sure miss seeing you guys at church on Sunday. —Dede

  6. Your children are absolutely ridiculous in these pictures. I don't even know what word to use for how cute Jill is in her picture, or Alice on that scooter, or my main man Danny with his shorts. STOP IT, stop letting them grow up! —Ames

  7. Incredible insight, as usual. Most folks don't have your perception for another decade (or two). —Vicki Rich

  8. She is adorable! —Ann de Jong

  9. I have to say, my older boys are 10 1/2, 7 1/2 now and I am still there world. They can do mostly everything for themselves, but they still kiss me, snuggle with me, and have to know where I am at all times. My oldest wrote everything down about his field trip experience the other day, cause he wanted me to know about every detail. It seems like the older they get they still need you as much, just in different ways. I think the overwhelming feeling simmers down with a feeling of accomplishment from what you've been working so hard to do while they are young. My boys are still not embarrassed to kiss me in front of their friends. I'm proud of that. You will get to feel that too. Some day soon. —Joanna McIntire

    1. Joanna, reading that made me very happy. I hope I can achieve a similar relationship.

    2. Don't stop doing what you're doing, hugs, loves, kisses, attention, and always listening to what they say, you're doing a great job. —Joanna

  10. It does get a little less overwhelming when they can dress themselves, get their own drink or snack, and change their own diaper. The downside of that day is that they are more exposed to others, and you can't control their environment like you can now. —Aunt Ann


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