EVANS: Show me, don’t tell me

Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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As a mom of two boys, I regularly find myself evaluating behaviors, speech and manners.

Like most of you, our dinner table is filled with conversations about bodily noises, smells and what our favorite cartoon characters were up to that day.

I regularly find myself questioning whether or not I encourage them to say “please” and “thank you” am I teaching them good table manners and am I helping to build their imagination?

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Despite the numerous thoughts that regularly haunt my mind, the most important subject is am I the favorite?

As a mom, you know you just want your kids to know that you love them, and in return to know that they love you. But the truth is that it is a never-ending competition between you and your spouse to determine who the kids like the best.

With my eldest son, there is no competition. I have been his favorite hands down since before he was born.

When I leave to go to the store, he stops whatever he is doing and races upstairs to hug me and tell me, “bye.”

Bedtime routines have always been filled with “I love you to the moon and back,” and “I love you more than Taco Bell.”

While currently he seems to have more in common with his dad, when he is ill or when he just needs to be hugged, I am the ultimate go to.

Truth be told, I have never really wondered which parent he loves the most, or if he actually even likes me.

With my youngest son, however, things are quite different.

Being the youngest, I think that he is constantly working to make sure everyone knows that he is not a baby. Even me.

When I leave to go to the store and I say, “I love you,” his answer is simply, “OK.”

Hugs from him are quick and as infrequent as he can possibly make them.

He does not like to be tucked in at night, and he does not like to be bothered when he does not feel well. In fact, if you ask him, he will tell you quite bluntly that he likes Daddy the best.

Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence about where his love goes, the truth comes from the way he shows me.

He is not a huge fan of words, nor does he partake in public displays of affection.

In the evening when the day is coming to a close, he can regularly be found standing in front of me in the living room. As his face lights up with enthusiasm as he relives something from the day, he starts to slide up into my lap.

With all my attention on him, he fills me in on everything that has made or broken his day. I can feel his love when he so innocently says, “Do you have to go to work tomorrow?”

It is these small gestures that let me know that despite his overwhelming constant push to be tough, deep down he loves me more than words can say.

To all you parents out there who find yourselves regularly wondering if your kids love you, let me be your example.

Your kids may not always put into words exactly how they feel about you. They may even sometimes go out of their way to try to be bigger than they are. But the truth can be found in their actions.

My youngest may not regularly indulge in things like telling me he loves me, but every time he climbs into my lap or asks if I get to stay home, he is indeed showing me that he loves me.