It sounds easy enough. Newborns are so easy to love, infants with their wide eyes and big grins woo you over, too. Mischievous toddlers get away with just about everything because they are so funny and get such a kick out of life.
But then, around three years old, something changes. People aren't quite as enamored with the shenanigans, parents actually have to discipline their charges, and while it was always exhausting, the exhausted mother needs a break from it all every once in a while. It gets a little harder to love their littleness, clumsiness, and inability to control their tempers and emotions. We don't love them any less, but their mere childhood becomes frustrating.
While I don't do jumping jacks when my kids spill apple juice all over the floor, or when the toddler throws my freshly folded laundry out of the basket, by some miracle, I'm kinda over it. I mean, it's what they do, and getting frustrated about it doesn't change a thing. Even if I freak out, they're still little and klutsy and curious.
It melts me.
Grief still surrounds loved ones and friends this week. It clings to the laughter of my children despite their lack of understanding. I hold them closer, watch them play longer, and maybe say "yes" a few more times than I'm known. Because, when it all comes down it, love is what matters. And to love a child and all their frustrating childishness, is to be blessed beyond comprehension.
"It is love alone that counts."
St. Therese of Lisieux