Is there anything more moving than your child saying, “I love you too, Mom”? Is there? What could be better than saying goodnight and I love you and getting that reply? This is why we change diapers. This is why we cook meals and then make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when they don’t want ravioli. This is why we scold. This is why we discipline. This is why we snuggle. This is why we teach them how to be human. Oh, that blissful moment of reward! Thank you, Lord, for showing me what it must be like to be yelled at, screamed at, to receive the look of distaste and bitterness and anger and lack of understanding, only to be loved again, to receive in its turn some sense of appreciation or adoration. I see, now. I see. I see how you keep giving, and giving, and giving, and sometimes it takes us days or weeks or months, even years, even a lifetime, to hear those words — I love you, too, Lord. Gratitude and thankfulness are not needed, sacrifice and payment shunned — just love me back. Love me. I just want your love, child.
Published by Sarah M. Wells
Sarah M. Wells is the author of Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). My memoir, American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation, and the second volume of devotionals, The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others, will be released in 2022. Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children. View more posts