Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Love Looks Like ....

This morning, I folded a load of my son's laundry.

This may not strike you as a big thing, and in truth, it's not. But in our family, once you hit grade 6 and have completed the laundry unit in Family & Consumer Sciences, you become responsible for your own clothing. You watch the dirty pile grow higher, you lug the clothes to the washer and dryer, you fold your own stuff and put it away. It's a small lesson in Life 101, which I consider to be one of the most important gifts I can give to my kids. By the time my offspring leave home they are competent in laundry, groceries, cooking, mending, cleaning, scheduling, and all those other essential tasks that make up regular life. Here at Casa Chaos you need to be either sick or physically not present to get out of doing your chores. Or both :-)

But sometimes, in addition to prepping the kids for the big world that awaits them in the future, a mom needs  to let her kids know that they are cherished right now. Maybe the child accomplished something he or she never believed possible. Maybe the homework and the college applications and the volunteer work have started to press in. Maybe the son or daughter took younger siblings to the playground so mom could have a few minutes of peace to sip a cup of coffee and wrap Christmas gifts without little eyes trying to catch a peek.

And sometimes, sometimes a mom needs to do something small but still special for her kids just because she loves them. And because it has been brought home to her, and the world, that the chance to offer up those silent gestures of love can be ripped away without warning.

Love is all around us, especially at this time of year. It's in the songs and the gatherings, the efforts we make to be together, the way we make sure to pick up a box of fruit-flavored candy canes along with the peppermint stripes because one of the kids doesn't like mint and every kid should be able to enjoy a candy cane at Christmas. In a season of miracles, love still shines bright in the littlest things: A dishwasher unloaded without request or complaint. A hug, not just on walking in the door, but once the boots are off and there's no coats to get in the way. A phone call that says, "I just heard this song on the radio and it made me think of you, so let's sing it together."

Sometimes love looks like shooting stars and fireworks and roses in winter.

Sometimes it looks like this:

How does love look to you these days?


Pamela Hearon said...

Lovely post, Kris! By the time they leave your house, your kids are ready to face the world.

As in so many households, food is love in our house. The kids are all out of the house now, but when they are coming home, they all start requesting their favorite foods for me to cook. Sometimes, it's a strange mixture:-) But they'll all be greeted with hugs of thanks. And all the trouble will have been worth it!

Rachell Nichole said...

that's so sweet. Made me tear up a little bit. Today, love means nagging and giving me the doctor's phone number.
Courtesy of my mom.

And good for you for preparing your children for the real world!

kris said...

Pam, oh yeah, food is a biggie around here too. Amazing to see which things become important to them, isn't it?

kris said...

Rachell, now you REALLY know that your mom is doing it out of love, so you will be a good daughter and make that call. Right?

(And no, your mom did not pay me to tell you that :-)

Cathryn Parry said...

Kris, I want you as my mom, too! :-)
Today, love looks like a sleeping kitty in a warm home, safe from the ice storm outside.

kris said...

Oh, Cathryn, what a wonderful image. Lucky lucky kitty.

(Trying very hard to not break into a chorus of Soft Kitty here ... )

Jane Myers Perrine said...

I wrote a lovely message but BLOGGER didn't like it. Can't wait for your book.

kris said...

Oh, dang, Jane! Now I'm mad at blogger!!!

Kaelee said...

Kris ~ thank you for the lovely post. I read it early this morning but didn't have time to reply. Throughout the day I kept thinking about it and smiling. In the future whenever I have to fold laundry I will think about love. You are definitely preparing your children for the real world.

Tonight love looked like this in my house. My great niece sent my husband a photo she had taken of some cracked earth. My husband sent her a reply about how great she was to see the beauty in mud.

kris said...

Kaelee, thank you, and how awesome. Beauty in cracked earth? Yep. Absolutely love at work there.

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