Tuesday, 8 May 2012

52 weeks of grateful :: little love

I seem to have lost my way a bit with my gratefulness. The past few weeks I have either completely forgotten to do a grateful post, or linked it with Bron on the wrong week. Too much going on, my head has been all over the place.

Yesterday when I realised I should be doing a grateful post, I instantly thought this week it must be love. Specifically, love for our little people. Then I had a hunch I had already been grateful for love. Funny that. My memory served me correctly (a rarity since entering the ranks of motherhood). So I tweaked it a little. Little love.

My kids are blessed. They really are. To be surrounded by immediate and extended family who love them wholly, unconditionally, and are never afraid to show it. I grew up in a home where hugs and kisses were normal, daily behaviours. Whether privately or publicly. I don't ever remember feeling embarrassed, or uncool, for kissing my parents goodbye in public, even as a teenager. Mum was a stickler for the goodbye kiss. You never know when your last kiss goodbye will be. A little morbid, yes. But very true. And it has stuck. Nobody leaves Chateau P without doing the kissing round. Two weeks ago I drove out of our street and halfway down the next street before I realised I had left without kissing hubby goodbye. I turned around and came back for the smooch.

I am always grateful for the love shown to our little ones. But certain occasions present you with an opportunity to reflect on just how grateful you are. The Wedding was one of these times. Most of my family arrived on the Tuesday with a few days to prepare before the big day. My big brother arrived Thursday night. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday together for final fittings and errands and jobs that needed completing. In between the necessary bits, there was plenty of relaxation, conversation, laughter, walks in the brisk autumn air, coffee stops. Plenty of time for singing and birthday cake for pa, hand holding, kissing, cuddling, I love yous.

{Cole had his cranky pants on the morning Uncle Jason flew home. He wouldn't smile for a photo. So they copied him. Gold.}

Yesterday morning we stayed to help out at kindy. We are heading into that time of year when colds and viruses are rife, spreading wildly through kindy, school and childcare. Last year we had a rotten time. It was Ruby's first experience at being in a group environment for long periods, having never been to childcare. So of course she picked up every bug and was constantly sick. Hopefully her immune system has built itself up since, and is ready to battle round two.

There were a few sniffs and sneezes around the room, one poor little mite in particular. You know when kids are really sick, you can see it in their eyes. The whites are more yellow, and there's no sparkle. This child had yellow, watery eyes, a thick, snotty nose and a terribly red, sore rash between their nose and lip from using too many tissues. The cough was the clincher. You could hear the phlegm rattling around. Yet they played quietly, and happily and didn't make a peep.

Mum was called within the hour to come and collect the little soul. Twenty minutes later she reappeared. Angry. Angry with her child for being sick. For interrupting her child-free morning to return to motherly duties earlier than anticipated. Duties that multiply ten fold when a child is unwell. She scowled her child for forgetting to take their own tissues to kindy. As if that was the reason the teachers had called. She handled her child roughly and my stomach tightened watching. Much the same way as I type this now. She put her child's jacket on in a jerky manner, pulling at the sleeves before they had barely a chance to fit their arms into the holes. She yanked here and there until she managed to fasten the zip. She was still cursing her child. But not once looked them in the eye.

That motherly instinct is a powerful thing. I was holding my breath. My eyes welled up. I blinked hard and steered the kids to another activity. I wanted to go to that little soul, and scoop them up. Hug them and give them a clean, soft hanky. Wipe away the goopy snot, and rub lanolin into their sore, red rash. Take them home and fill them with homemade soup, carrot cake and warm milk. Let them sleep all morning.

There were knowing looks between the teachers, and little was said. I was genuinely rattled by what I had seen, and it was clear they were too. I never expected to see something like that in my daughter's kindy room. Something so brazen. So unwarranted. So unloving. So cold. My heart hurt watching it unfold. Children need, and deserve to be loved every day. Even more so when they are fighting for their health.

I kissed my little people more yesterday. I hugged them more. They probably felt suffocated, in addition to their usual daily quota. I thought of that sick little soul all day. And every time, I had to swallow the lump in my throat until I found myself crying into the kitchen sink at 10pm, as I did the dishes.

Sometimes it feels greedy, for my children to be surrounded by so much love all the time. Something that feels so normal. Some children have none. Or very little. And that too, feels normal to them.

I am so very grateful my children know they are loved. They are reminded every day. With words, and with actions. A perfect parent I am not. I am certain there is no such thing. But loving? I must be pretty bloody close.

{Linking up with beautiful Bron for Kidspot Village Voices}


  1. I can't believe that a mother could do that, the poor little poppet. My heart breaks for the child just reading that.
    We are big kissers in our house, and I hope to keep it that way.
    Love little people love. xx

  2. I've had a similar cringe worthy moment too. Heattbreaking. Lots of love in this house.

  3. I love that my children too have 'a village' to love and raise them. A village can consist of close family/friends/godparents and of course Mum & Dad. Gorgeous photos. Off to back your biccies today :)

  4. I have tears in my eyes as I type this, that poor baby. I know at times our kids can drive us to drink with their behaviour but to not care when your baby is sick and acknowledge that they need you more than you need time off is just cruel. We are big cuddlers and kissers in this house too and I just can't get enough. I love this post xx.

  5. This post was a rollercoaster for me... tears of joy, tears of pain... tears!! x

  6. Ouch. My heart is hurting. I can't think about children in love-less homes. I am a mess. :(

  7. I held it together until you said you were in tears in the kitchen sink. Now I am at my keyboard. So well written. Think I need to hug my bubbas.

  8. Lump in my throat too. And about to smother my babies in kisses for the tenth time today. I can't live the house without kissing everyone too! You're spot on here - love is the best gift we can give our little people! Thank you xx

  9. tears. lots of tears. it's awful to witness something like that. you wonder why some people even bother having children if they see them as a burden. breaks my heart as well. love is all children need and want. if they have that, life is perfect for them. i always smother ours in kisses too. the oldest hates it. one day she'll see it was all for love ;) xxxx

  10. I felt yucky reading this. Breaks my heart. Shaking my head. We all get irritated with our kids form time to time, but the poor little darling was sick! Kiss those babies... xoxo


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