As we were cleaning up dinner last night, two of my children told me they were hungry.
and then I yelled.
Not an all out scream, but my voice was definitely louder than strictly necessary.
Most nights, I hit a wall around 7 pm. Justin’s adept at anticipating the coming breaking point, and will send me to breathe for a second – but, last night, he was sick in bed.
So, I explained to my wide eyed children – “I spend so much of my day thinking about food. I have to come up with three meals that will make you strong AND that you’ll eat, and just when I think I’m done, you want me to start over.”
And then I cut up some fruit.
When peace had been restored, two other children started fighting about who had to take the pots off the stove and put them in the sink.
It was too much. I sent them all to bed with tears in my eyes – and resigned myself to doing the dishes alone (they’re still in the sink).
I willed myself upstairs to go through the bedtime routine, giving myself a pep talk on the way. It’s not personal. Model a better way to act when you’re tired.
I plopped on the floor and opened a book, and was met with arms wrapped around my waist and a teary voice. “I’m so so sorry Mom. I’ll read to AJ so you can rest.” and “Mom, do you want me to brush your hair?”
The phrase Live, Laugh, Love has been floating around for years… making each word a verb. We should live, we should laugh, and we should love.
When laugh is removed Live becomes a verb and love becomes a noun. We should live love. Love becomes a thing. Something to become.
I spent the last week pondering what that looks like. How I can be an embodiment of love. Last night my children showed me one way. Meet anger with hugs, apologies, and service.
I was tempted to berate myself for my explosion – but – I realized I had Lived Love too.
Love isn’t a checkbox of hugs, patience, and cookie deliveries. Love sometimes shows up as anger, as setting boundaries, as teaching gratitude, and sometimes it looks like reading books when you’d rather lie on the couch and stare blankly at the wall.
Granted, I maybe didn’t need to stomp my feet and cry – but would my point have been made otherwise? The jury’s still out.
To live love is messy.
Yesterday, I asked my kids whether love was a feeling or something you do. The answers were mixed.
I’d given them a false dichotomy. It’s both. Love is a feeling that to be fully understood leads to action – hugging your exhausted mother. It’s an action that leads to a feeling – forcing myself up the stairs to read stories.
Sometimes the action and the feeling don’t find each other. But, usually they do. Last night, peace started to seep into the corners of the room as we joined Harry at Hogwarts – and then….. one of my kids had the nerve to tell me they were still hungry…
I sent him downstairs. He got his own food…. and wiped down the counters.
Love is messy. It’s supposed to be.
Did you live love today? See someone else live it well? I’d love to know.
For beautiful free printables about the concept Live Love go to multiply goodness.