Monday, March 10, 2014

Hearing "I LOVE YOU" Through All The Noise

Teething baby fusses. 
Preschoolers feuding over who gets to have the red sucker.
Dinner dishes sitting on the counter from the night before (yelling, HEY, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO CLEAN ME??)
Phone ringing.
Emails coming in.
The noise does not ever really stop. 

The other night I took what I was hoping would be an uninterrupted bath. It was not. The two older girls came in about a half dozen times, one complaining her homemade sack puppet was stepped on by other sister and "ruined forever". The other asking for the fifteenth time if she could wear her princess dress to bed. I had been hoping to get alone with my thoughts. Have a time-out of my own. But it did not happen.

I started wondering, "How on earth am I going to stay fueled, keep up, if I can't even get 2 minutes alone to think?" Besides hiding out in the bathroom, which never really works because they stick their little fingers under the door telling me their latest news, I wanted to be able to have moments I could think without interruption.

But then I realized life is an interruption. I mean let's face it, there is noise coming from five different directions at any given moment. Take this moment for instance...
Baby girl is repeatedly ramming her walker into Mom and Dad's antique dresser and needs constant reminders that it is in fact not okay to break things as I pull her once again to the opposite side of the room.
One child needs help putting on her crown and pulling her hair out of her face.
The dog is whining and begging to be let out.
My phone is buzzing reminding me that today is the absolute last day I can put off going to the grocery.
My husband is calling to remind me he exists and how much he loves me and can't wait for our family to be together again.

I sigh. A blissful, tired sigh. Life is good. Life is overwhelming. Life is full.

Often when life seems it's fullest we step into what I call maintenance mode. This is when all we are doing is what needs to be done just to stay afloat. In those times, it is very easy to forget very difficult to remember that people are loving us, thinking we are special and grateful we are in their lives. That reassurance can fuel us into tomorrow (who am I kidding?), into the next moment.

That friend who emails to say, "Hey, just thinking about you...".
When your dad gives you your favorite seat even though it's his favorite seat without much grumbling (yes, that happened and yes, it means love)
Little eyes watching you and little footsteps following you.
The coffee pot started for you.
The text messages saying, "when things slow down I can't wait to have a cup of coffee with you and catch up."

Alia who has to watch Poppi take out Lilly every time to make sure he does not fall-
aka- I love you, Poppi

You will no doubt have your own list but a list none-the-less and they are of other people who are very likely in "maintenance mode" themselves but they are reaching out to let you know they love you, you are special and they are thinking about you. See these acts of kindness as such. Do not just hurry through the moment and not take it for what it really is- an "I love you" through all the noise.

My girls in our beautiful mess demonstrating one of their favorite songs from
Daniel Tiger, "Making something is one way to saaay,
I love you."

Tune your ear today to hear the whispers. They typically are not loud and proud, but gentle nudges that, if we are listening, can hear, "I love you."

And if you can be that whisper in someone's ear who is needing it today, even better.