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Different Kinds of Love

It’s the end of a dance competition weekend.  All my loyal Facebook friends have been subjected to picture after picture and post after post about dance.

“Here she is before dancing.  Here she is after the first dance.  Here she is with three dances to go.  Here is what backstage looks like.  Here she is her taking off her lashes.”  It’s really quite ridiculous.

Despite what I know about life, being a human, and how amazing my family and friends are, I still have this voice in the back of my brain that says, “The entire world must think that I love her more than my other children.  What kind of a mom am I?”

And then, I look at my kids, and I realize that what everyone else thinks doesn’t matter.  All three of my children are so different from each other, and I have different kinds of love for them all.

I remember so clearly how conflicted I was after my son was born.  Did my older stepdaughter feel like I treated her differently?  Did she think I loved her less?  Boy, did I worry about trying to love them “the same.”

Until I realized that there is no WAY I could love them the same!  They are entirely different people who have different needs. 

For the tiny dancer, it means photo overload, silly poses, and being in the spotlight.  It means spending long hours at loud events that sometimes have disappointing endings.  It means being a cheerleader, chauffer, and personal stylist.  It sounds a bit crazy, but it is her security in knowing I adore the ground she walks on.

For my son, it means something completely different.  He feels the love when I bring him fresh Crumbl after school, when I listen to him play his clarinet, when I let him drink out of my water bottle on our way home from school every day, and when I laugh at his silly jokes.  Taking pictures of him?  Definitely NOT his love language.

All that matters is that I love my kids.

For my oldest, it is a kind of love drastically different than her younger siblings.  We have a love language that involves random texts that say we were thinking of each other, Facetime calls to her siblings to share her life lessons, and some sort of unspoken understanding that we just “get” each other.  It’s something that I can’t explain to anyone else, but she and I?  We just “get” it.

Do I feel bad that my Facebook profile is loaded with dancer pictures?  I used to.  Before I came to the realization that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.

All that matters is that I love my kids. 

So, to all the moms out there wondering if I love my kids the same…

No.  I love them all differently, but incomparably big. 

Be grateful (for your children), water your own grass,

…and drink coffee.

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