"Thank you!" I smiled. "What a pretty flower."
I hit save on the Excel file I'd been working with and unfolded the notepaper as my daughter flashed me a brilliant smile before turning to leave my room as quickly and quietly as she'd come in, obviously not wanting to disturb my work.
The first words I read were:
I love you, Mom. You are the best Mom I can have.
Grateful tears brimmed in my eyes.
I hate when I fail to manage life well and end up spending large portions of our weekends - especially any parts of our Sabbaths - disconnected from my family. It makes me feel like an inept mom and wife.
This weekend was one of those weekends. I have been so behind with life and so bad about organization that I ended up spending the lion's share of yesterday simply chasing down files and statements for our taxes. Indeed, yesterday I rose early and retired late and, yet, spent far too little time interacting with my husband and children. Then, today, when I holed up in my room again to work on taxes, I did so with equal portions of persistent purpose and niggling guilt.
My daughter's words gave me perspective. I might sometimes let myself fall prey to thoughts that I am being a "bad mom", but she does not see me that way.
I am sorry you have lots of taxes to pay.
Please forgive my sins against you. I forgive you. I will try not to be bad.
Tears flowed from the corners of my eyes to the stretch of my closed-mouth, deep-breath smile.
So often over the past week, my oldest two children had struggled, and, all too often, when they did, I did, too. Today, though, had not been challenging with my daughter. In fact, she had been offering extra helps and kindnesses all day.
From the first moments of the morning, my daughter had been sensitive to the tiredness I felt from staying up late last night working on taxes before rising this morning so I could help at my youngest's First Reconciliation prep class and, then, go to Mass with our entire family. Throughout the day, she pitched in with meal preparations, asked if she could do some outside chores even though it was Sunday, offered hugs periodically, helped carry some heavy items back to our yard that kindly neighbors gave us, and, spent the day well with alone time and shared time. She showed me about forgiveness and carrying on, and, then, wrote to me about it, too.
So sweet. So simple. Such a beautiful way to start the new week - forgiven, forgiving, and sharing love.
I said a prayer of thanks as I read the "Love" closing in my daughter's note to me, and, then, laughed through more tears as I deciphered her P.S. (which was spelled quite creatively*).
P.S. Please write your reply below. Please excuse my spelling.
My daughter struggles with reading and spelling, but she did not let that stop her from communicating her love to me with an encouraging note as I sat mired in mom guilt and taxes. She worked to encourage me - and she did.
Cleansing, happy tears and grateful grins readied me for the next part of my evening. Later, after cuddly read togethers, bedtime prayers, blessings, (and thanking my daughter!), I still felt fortified.
How might your words and actions bring healing warmth to another today? How might someone's else's affect you?
(*Because my daughter is sensitive about her spelling and punctuation, I have corrected them above.)