Today Matthew said "I love you, Mommy."
We were in a big rush this morning, but he needed an extra cuddle. And so we sat, as time passed way to quickly, and had an extra morning snuggle.
And, when I got up to finish getting ready he said to me "Thank you for the hugs. I love you."
When Matthew was little I wasn't sure he would ever say this to me. I can remember sitting with a good friend of mine when our babies were really little. We were sitting in a playgroup with these two infants who went from nursing to screaming and back to nursing then back to screaming.
We were exhausted. And frustrated.
And she turned to me sobbing and said "sometimes I feel like this child hates me."
I looked at her and started to cry too. No one had said it before, but I felt exactly the same way.
No matter what I tried, how much I fed him, how many parenting books I read this child would cry and cry and cry. And then nurse. And then cry some more. And he didn't sleep.
And I often had that nagging feeling that this baby just didn't like me at all.
Year one was not easy. I don't talk about it a lot because it's hard to explain to people how I loved my child so much but just didn't feel adequate or successful. And I really truly wondered if my child even liked me. (well, except for the whole nursing thing).
It slowly got better.
Eventually Matthew started to sleep through the night (18 months - though he still sometimes wakes up).
He started talking, and expressing his feelings and being this generally cool kid. And, then over these past few months I've started to realize that he actually does like me.
But today, when he told me he loved it, it melted my heart.
If someone told me two and a half years ago that one day, out of the blue, I would hear the words "I love you" it would have made it so much easier.
I love you too, Matty. With all my heart.