I awoke this Valentine’s Day morning to a pink glittery bag next to my head on the pillow.
I have three children: Libby, 16; Tallulah, 11; and Phoenix, 9, and they had crept in and left me the gifts whilst I slept. They came running in when they heard I was awake.
I opened the bag, surprised to be given anything by them and feeling blessed that they had been so thoughtful. I found sweet little presents and a hand written booklet titled “28 Reasons Why We Love You.”
I read each page, sobbed emotionally and hugged them tightly, leaving them all stunned as they really didn’t expect this kind of reaction!
But after 11 years living alone as a single mother, having had more than our share of ups and downs, their abusive fathers, the freak outs, melt downs, stress, anxiety, love, joy, let downs, teenage depression and all the unconditional love a mother and her children can muster, a list like this is possibly the most loving and kind thing that anyone or anything has ever given to me.
I share with you the “28 Reasons Why We Love You.”
1. You are never too busy to solve my problems. ~ Tallulah
2. You just love us. ~ Phoenix
3. You always believe in me and you’re understanding. ~ Libby
4. Eeek, eeek, eeek. Translation: You move us from the cold, into the warm and from the woods to the grass! ~ The guinea pigs
5. Meow, meow, meow. Translation: You always give me catnip when I want it! ~ The cats
6. You don’t get angry when we are naughty. ~ Phoenix
7. You let us have days off school when there is no real point. ~ Phoenix
8. You don’t get angry when I come home late on school nights. ~ Libby
9. You are very understanding. ~ Tallulah
10. You always help me make the right decisions. ~ Libby
11. You help me with my craft/projects no matter how crazy they are! ~ Tallulah
12. We always gossip together and you give me the best advice. ~ Libby
13. You know me better than I do. ~ Tallulah
14. You let me borrow your clothes. ~ Libby
15. You helped me deal with my anxiety. ~ Tallulah
16. No one would know you are a single mum, you cope as if you have a maid! ~ Tallulah
17. You buy me my favourite foods even if it is expensive. ~ Libby
18. You got me awesome Birthday and Christmas presents. ~ Tallulah
19. Even when Tallulah is having a massive tantrum, you are still lovely to us all. ~ Libby
20. Eek, eek, eek. Translation: Because you are you! ~ The guinea pigs
21. You taught me how to draw really cool designs and patterns. ~ Tallulah
22. You have helped me so much since the beginning of last year and it has all been totally worth it because I am very happy now. ~ Libby
23. You help me with my homework. ~ Phoenix
24. You gave me a wholesome childhood. ~ Libby
25. Your hugs heal me better than medicine. ~ Tallulah
26. Meow, meow, meow. Translation: You let me sleep virtually on your head while you’re asleep. ~ The cats.
27. Even though we are not well off, we still have lots of luxuries which you provide for us. ~ Libby
28. Because you made us how we are!! ~ From us all!!
After everything my children have been through, to know that they have so much love in their hearts, so much compassion, so much forgiveness for all my faults as a parent, a regular single mum who loses it sometimes and has frequent melt downs over the dishwasher or the packed lunches, who has made lots of mistakes, big and small…it makes me happy to know they found such a special way to let me know it’s okay.
We are all just trying our best to cope with life sometimes, none of us have a charmed life, it isn’t easy for anyone. But if we can raise our children to love, then we are doing a little something towards making a huge difference in the world.
Author: Saira Francis
Editor: Travis May