I often say that when you become a parent you should just stamp the word “guilt” on your forehead and be done with it.
At the end of the day I look back and often feel regret. I could’ve done better. I could’ve loved more, could’ve been more present. I lectured that boy too harshly, I didn’t respond to the request to play because I had to do dishes and pack lunches, I cut short bedtime reading because I had work to complete, I listened with only half an ear to the ‘who did what’ in the latest fight. And that’s when I’m home. Not to mention the guilt of missing a championship soccer game because I’m in the pharmacy…that was last week.
I read this exquisite post by Ann Voskamp, appropriately called “How to Make Any Relationship Better.” In it she says:
Everyone is always saying only one thing: “I just want you to love me.” But this is what I do. I get caught up in tone and semantics, when I could just catch hearts.
Isn’t that the truth. Adults and children alike look for the reassurance that we are loved. Indirectly with our words and actions we say it over and over again but don’t recognize the root of it in each other. In our impatience, our disagreements, our queries and requests of each other, the underlining current is “I need you to love me.” But instead of recognizing the vulnerability behind our daily interactions with those we love, we focus on the minutiae, the unimportant, when really we could just catch hearts.