“I’m ready for today to be over,” a dear friend of mine lamented on Mother’s Day. The problem? Finding something nice to say about her mom. My friend’s childhood had been shaped by negative comments and verbal abuse from her mother, and it had continued into adulthood. And now, on this special day, she was at a loss.

As I texted with my friend, I couldn’t help but think about an event with Peck a couple days earlier. It sharply contrasted my friend’s struggle. We were at Wal-Mart. I’d sent Peck to a bench a few feet away from me while I checked out. Of course, he chattered happily to the woman sitting next to him. When I called him to leave, she looked up at me and smiled. “You have a sweet boy. He told me, ‘My Mommy loves me very much.’”

My friend was proof that not everyone can say, “My Mommy (or Daddy) loves me very much.” It saddened me because isn’t that our job, our main job, as parents to love our children?

Psalm 127:3 declares, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Gifts are one of my love languages. Nothing delights me more than a brightly wrapped package, except a bunch of brightly wrapped packages. I never tire of opening a box and finding the surprise that waits inside. Each and every child is no different. They are all a treasure waiting to be discovered, albeit an occasionally smelly, loud, and annoying treasure.  

Being a mom is hard. There are days where you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. Sure the kids are fed and dressed, but that food had questionable nutritional value, and they wore the least wrinkled clothes you could find in the hamper. And the most stimulating play they had was methodically inserting several wads of Play-Doh in their ears. On those days, it’s easy to feel like a failure.

However if they fall asleep at night with the simple assurance that, “My Mommy loves me very much.”, then give yourself a pat on the back. You’re nailing this parenting thing.