From as early as I can remember, my Dad would ask me one simple question each and every day. He asked it before bed. He asked it at many of my major milestones throughout life. He even ended his speech at my wedding with it.
“You know what?”
“I love you.”
And now, as I hear myself asking the same question to each of my three kids, I can’t help but think about how powerful that quick little exchange really was (and still is). I’ve always been a big believer in actions speaking louder than words but I do believe that hearing those words, often and sincerely, from both of my parents gave me trust and faith in them and confidence in myself.
I can see it in my own kids too. I always take the time when tucking them into bed at night to tell them how much I love them and more often than not, I also let them know how lucky I feel that I get to be their Mom. It’s around that time that they usually cuddle in closer or open up to me about something that happened in their day that hadn’t come up yet. I find it amazing that I can literally see the instantaneous effect that time and sharing those honest emotions has.
I don’t mind admitting that I’m a cheeseball and that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I was inspired to write about this because last week, after our little man turned two, he gave me a big kiss on the lips and said, “wuv woo mama” for the very first time without prompting. We had just come in from outside and after I took off his jacket and gave him a hug, he planted one on me and told me he loved me. The rush of emotion that hit me in that moment was overwhelming. My spirit was lifted, I felt appreciated, I felt even closer to him (if that’s even possible) and honestly, I just felt happy.
If a two year old saying “I love you” once can cause that kind of a reaction, just imagine what a parent’s reinforcement can do for their child.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller