Who Makes You Feel Loved?

Two weeks ago I asked my oldest, a college sophomore, a very telling question.  I asked it without any expectations of the answer, just on a whim.  I like to give in to whimsy sometimes (that might be my word for 2015–it’s in the running), so when it came to mind, I asked.

“Who makes you feel loved?”

Her first answer was pretty quick.  It was folks who live in this house.  Including siblings–which warmed my heart since I’ve heard some not so nice nicknames tossed out lately, followed by the assurance that they are terms of endearment.  Ahem.  Yeah.  Right.

After she thought about it for a few more minutes she continued adding to her list.

It was beautiful.

I had no idea.

My Mama told me one time when we were talking about a baby coming who was unexpected:  “Every child deserves to be loved.”  Then this woman who never met a child she didn’t love added:  “Every child deserves to see eyes light up when he or she walks into the room.”

Today I was thinking about Mama and how her eyes never failed to light up when I entered a room she was in, even when she was so very sick in the hospital.  And how her eyes absolutely glowed when her grandbabies came around.  Her eyes lit up and her arms flew open, waiting to give each one a big hug, embracing them with her special brand of love.

Tonight I am thankful for those memories.  I wonder if my children will remember my eyes lighting up for each one of them.  If they will know how they are my greatest treasures on this earth. I really hope so.  I give thanks for those who love my children, those who make them feel loved–the ones who take time to care and listen and laugh and sit with them in the dark.  The ones whose eyes light up for children who are not theirs and yet–are.  Thankful for this loving village.

Who needs you to show them they are loved today?  Whose eyes light up when you walk in a room?  Who makes your eyes light up?

Let us all make this a day full of lit-up eyes and showing folks what they mean to us.  Just such small moments can change the world.

Love to all.


Binks, Smiles, and the Joy From Within

Last week there was a little fella around here who is absolutely, slap dab adorable.  There were also two others here I love who are handsome.  But the little one–adorable.   

Because when they are under two, you can get away with calling little fellas adorable.  After that, not so much. 

My nephews.  My brother and his family were here, and I realized just how unbaby-proofed my house has become in the past four or so years since Cooter was a toddler.  I spent the first day following my eighteen month old little fella around.  Not sure what he might think of getting into (not much) or how Miss Sophie would react to someone she no kidding could knock down (she didn’t), I followed him around the counter and through the kitchen and around the table.  Over and over. He toted his graham cracker around and became Miss Sophie’s new best friend when he handed it over to her and giggled.  After that, she figured out he was the one to watch. 

When it was naptime, this little fella was allowed his pacy–bink, pacifier, soother, whatever you might call it.  He took it happily and put his head on my shoulder and cuddled close.  When he fell asleep, I didn’t even pretend to try to put him down.  Because I’m the Aunt, and I can get away with that. 

Today I saw a picture of a friend’s little guy with his “bink” in his mouth.  ADORABLE.  What is it that draws me to these little ones with their pacifiers?  I miss seeing my littles with theirs in their mouth, and it didn’t bother me to give it to them when they were little like that–it helped comfort them.  (Which is ironic because I never gave Aub a pacifier–the hospital discouraged it.  And so I became her comforter.)  They were so cute.  I can still picture their little faces. It was a hoot because our Princess was much like her little cousin–one in the mouth and one in the hand.  She often smelled hers too.  Sorry, sounds disgusting, I guess, but there it is.  As she got older she would do funny tricks and weave them together.  She also figured out where the magic drawer was that held her extras. 

As I looked at the picture of my friend’s son, it hit me.  I was focusing on his eyes.  He was smiling.  I couldn’t see his mouth to confirm this, but one look at those eyes and the joy was apparent. 


And that’s what it is.  I love to see joy that is so great it travels to the eyes.  So sweet. 

When Mama had her last HospitalStay, she was on a vent to help her breathe.  She wasn’t conscious for much of the 25 days, but one morning during that last week, she was.  I was sitting in the horrible STINKU (STICU) with her, and I said something inconsequential.  She looked over at me and wrinkled her nose, and from her eyes–she couldn’t move her mouth very easily with the vent–I could tell she was smiling.  That smile lit up the room and my heart.  And it all came from her beautiful eyes. My spirit lifted.  A smile with a wrinkled nose?  That meant “I love you” in no uncertain terms. 

Bless her. 

In all of that, a smile. 

Tonight I’m thankful for smiles that lift the spirit.  For smiles that come from so deep within that they bubble out and upward and light up a person’s whole countenance.  Children know how to do this without even trying.  Some adults haven’t forgotten.  I am thankful for the joy that brings on such light and beauty. 

May something bring you such happiness today that your smile can’t help but fill your whole face. 

Love to all.