Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Endless (01/09/14)
- TITLE: His Love: Enough!
By Taryn Deets
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“I love you, too, sweat pea.”
She hugs me hard and pulls my pale face towards hers and kisses my cheek. Then she picks up her pencil to write. She works for just a few minutes before she asks again for the third time, “Is this right?”
After the twentieth time (no exaggeration) she’s asked me this, I repeat as patiently as I can, “Giggles, as I told you before, since you can do the work, please finish all of the problems and I will check them when you are finished.”
The next time I snap, “I will look at it when you’re finished.”
Sigh. “I’m sorry honey, I am sitting right here next to you and you know I love you, right?
When she finally finishes her assignment, she’s done every problem correctly. But she needs to ask after almost every problem for the affirmation that she’s right. And I know that this is not just about math. She is eight, in second grade and has been my daughter for six years now. And yet still, even though I know, I still grow impatient at times, weary of her neediness.
Countless times every day she returns, “I love you, Mommy,” and she waits for me to reply, “I love you too.”
She hugs me as I am walking into the bathroom, in mid-step, she almost trips me with her deep need for yet another affirmation of love.
While I am trying to have a conversation with one of my older teenagers, she interrupts with another unexpected hug. “Mommy, will you play with me?” is another request for attention as I am getting ready to start dinner.
She needs these confirmations of my love over and over, and yet she never quite believes them in her heart.
My mind wanders to a frigid day a few weeks before Christmas when we had been called to the social worker’s office. She’d been trying to help us understand some things that had recently been happening at school. As I sat there, the sun streaming in through the windows, my heart breaking, she told us how Giggles told her we didn’t love her.
Inside my head, “You think I don’t know this?” as tears course down my cheeks. Yes, I know this is how she feels but I cannot put my thoughts into words to help anyone understand. I live with this insatiable need of hers for reaffirmation of our love and even as I give it, I know that she cannot take it deep down into her heart and really feel it is for her. And the social worker’s attempt to help only makes me feel more lost and weak, more like a failure when I try so hard to pour love into our precious daughter who is like a sieve when it comes to love.
I go home, trying not to dwell on the hopelessness I am drowning in. This loving is hard work for me because I don’t love constant touch, yet I know she needs to touch me to know that she is really mine. So, I must stifle my desire to snap, “Stop touching me.” And yet at times, I cannot and I do what I wish I didn’t do.
So I have learned instead to pray for the only One who can love her enough, with His never ending supply of love, to “Fill me with enough love so that Giggles knows she is deeply loved.” And I am able, in His strength, to hug her as many times as she needs, answer her queries and affirm her value to us and to God.
“Mommy, I love you!”
“I love you too, sweat girl.”
“Mommy, is this right?” and I pray, “Fill me…”
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