Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Like and Love

“Do you like me, Mommy?” This was the question asked by Alexandria tonight, as she sat on my lap, after I had finished folding laundry. It was such an innocent, precious question, and it totally caught me off guard.
“Of course, I like you Alex!” I answered her. I told her that I thought she was awesome and incredible. I told her how I thought she was super smart, and beautiful and how sweet she was. She sat there, in my lap, with her arms draped around my neck, soaking in every word.
Long after she had gone up to bed, I was still a little unsettled by her question. Why did she ask if I liked her? I tell each of my children daily that I love them, just as my parents did for me, but I have never before contemplated whether or not they know that I LIKE them. That I like the person they are becoming, that I think their personality is terrific. While I’ve done a wonderful job of making sure they know that they are loved unconditionally and no matter what, I haven’t ever really taken the time to make sure they understand that above and beyond that unconditional love…that love that parents have for their children almost inherently, that I also LIKE them meritoriously, I like them as people, for their own unique characteristics- I guess in a way, its the complete opposite of the unconditional love concept I have ingrained into their little brains and I very much need them to be secure in both…in the fact that I love them unconditionally, regardless of anything they do or don’t do, regardless and because of who they are or aren’t…and I like them specifically and uniquely for the people they are growing up to be.
In this house with twelve strong, independent personalities, It’s important for our children to understand that they are valued, their differences are appreciated, what they bring to this family is treasured. It’s vital that they feel validated as their own person and that they use that as a platform to gain the confidence and self assurance we all need in this world.
Yes, Alexandria, I like you! I like your sweetness, your ability to be so affectionate, the compassion and empathy you display even at only four years old. I like your super girly ways, your dramatic displays, your funny conversations. I like how you mother your baby sisters, how you enjoy making friends and how excited you are about school. And yes, even in our crowded household where things often seem very busy and rushed- I notice each and every one of these things about you. You are a very special girl, who will grow into a very special woman. I love you with my whole heart. And I like you tremendously.

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