“A Valentine for My Children”
By Hannah Keeley
Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. My kids got their traditional red buckets filled with goodies and surprises. But, as usual, I got more. They don’t know it, though. I’m not sneaking their chocolates or running off with their red glow sticks. I’ve got treasure that they don’t even know exists.
My bucket is so full that it’s running over.
My precious Valentines, seven little cupids…how do I love thee? I don’t even know how to start.
I love thee because…
…you make me tired. It’s not a tired out of boredom or lethargy. You make me push limits that I didn’t even know existed. You make me wake up early and go to bed late. But each time I pull up the covers, you give me that exhausted feeling like I squeezed every bit of juice out of the day. You make it worth it. You make my efforts count. It’s a good tired. A really, really good tired.
I love thee because you make me confused. You make me second guess myself. Just when I think I have something figured out, you go and turn it all upside down. You humble me and help me grow in places I would never have touched without you. You force me to abandon my head and go with my heart. You make me stop and think. And stop and think again. You destroy my pride before it has a chance to destroy me.
I love thee because you make me frustrated. I see it one way, and you see it another. It never fails. You teach me to look beyond the typical and see the magical; and that’s not always easy to do. You make me think outside that harsh, impenetrable mom box of rules and regulations. You’ve taught me that I can fall into the frustration and mount up in freedom. I don’t have to be the typical mom. I just have to be your mom. And that truth makes all my frustration melt into peace.
I love thee because you make me wrinkled. I know, it’s strange. But you do. You make my brow furrow from worry over those first steps, first classes, and first dates. You can see that anxiety all over my face sometimes. You also give me laugh wrinkles that stretch further every year. You say funny things that you don’t even know are funny, that your dad and I laugh about later. Then come the days when you say funny things because you know they are funny. Your sense of humor leaves me laughing so hard my sides ache.
I love thee because you make me cry. I cried that first time I saw your profile on the sonogram. Your little beating heart, already beating at it’s own rhythm–a part of me but already distinct and original. That first time I held you in my arms, tears dripping off my nose and onto your little face. And the countless tears I would never let you see–the last time you sucked your thumb, the time you spoke out against me in rage, the time you said that I was your favorite mommy in the whole world. Tears of anger, frustration, confusion. But mostly, the tears of joy coming in waves that totally catch me off guard.
I love thee because you leave me amazed. I don’t understand how something so holy, so beautiful, so perplexing and complicated, could come from something as simple as me. You amaze me–how you think, how you dream, how you operate. I stand in awe that God almighty could entrust you to me and your daddy. And I am amazed at what He can accomplish through a willing heart. Sometimes, in just a flicker of a moment, I catch a glimpse of your soul and it leaves me breathless. You, my sweet child, my darling Valentine, I am yours. I am yours. I am forever yours. Even though I know you won’t be forever mine. You’ve got a life to live that is going to shock this world. You will amaze them. Just as you amaze me.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!
Check out Hannah’s Website Here!