Sometimes at night, after they are asleep, I sneak into my childrens' rooms.
I look at them: not still even in sleep, mouths agape, limbs sprawled claiming as much bed territory as possible, heads tossed back, loveys clutched in arms and stacked around their nightime nest, open hands on my older, clenched fists still on my younger.
I smoothe their hair back, kiss their temples, and whisper into each ear, "Mama loves you, you are so precious. Always. No matter what. I love you."
I think I hope that this message will seep into their subconscious and will be a truth that will hold them, strengthen them, sustain them---even if they don't know or understand what, how or why.
The hugs, cuddles and love remarks through the day bracket the discipline and correction. I worry it ends up a draw.
So I whisper into their dreams and hope it hugs their hearts like faith. Always. No matter what.
By Julie Pippert
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© 2006. All images and text exclusive property of Julie Pippert. Not to be used or reproduced.