So the other night as I was getting her ready for bed, instead of our usual routine I pulled her close and shared a few things with her.
“I think you are awesome, Elizabeth.”
“I think you are smart.”
“I love every day that I get to spend with you.”
At that, she turned and wrapped her arms around my neck in one of the tightest, longest hugs she’s ever given me. I know full well she was tired and that not everything I said probably registered. But these days, she picks up a good deal more than I give her credit for. And I think some of what I said made it through the fog of bedtime.
And it mattered.
You see, I’ve never had a problem telling my daughter that I love her. Heck, I probably tell her so at least a dozen times a day. I don’t have any problem telling her how adorable I think she is, either.
As one writer put it some time ago, we need to tell our kids what we see in them, because each statement is a “tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages.” “I love you” is a pretty good start. But I’m learning there is so much more that I need to say to my daughter.