How do my kids know I love them?

I had a really special time with Matey (aged 10) this morning. It started in an adhoc sort of way. I have just recommenced going for a morning walk where I love being on my own and praying and worshiping God out aloud to my heart’s content – something hard to do at home in a small house with others sleeping. Matey was already up and wanted to come with me on his bike. Instead of allowing my mind to go down the negative pathway of “oh no, that’s my time when I go for a walk”, I welcomed him and looked forward to how I could still enjoy it. Matey was chatting most of the way and, since he loves riding his bike and is very competent at bike riding, was all over the place with it. It gave me ample time to thank God for life, energy, vitality, freedom in Him, in Matey, in myself and my family. It brought a freshness to my prayer life this morning.

Later, I needed to go to the shops to get a larger size jacket for Matey. Since it was just us in the car, he asked all his usual inquisitive questions. At one stage, the guy on the radio was encouraging parents to say “I love you” to their kids as many times as possible each day. I stopped and reflected, realising it doesn’t come easily for me to say “I love you”. So I asked Matey, “How often do I tell you I love you?” I also asked, “When was the last time I said that I love you?” Matey replied, “Oh you say that all the time to us. I know you love me.” To which I then prodded to find out how he knew I loved him. His response was really interesting – all stuff I do with him. I then asked how he knew his dad loved him and so on.

This had created a safe space for Matey and he then changed the topic to ask what I do when I am nervous and also when do I get embarrassed. He openly shared what he does and a time when he had been embarrassed this year. The conversation was valuable and the sharing intimate. I really valued this time and it made me stop and ponder, how often do I ask my kids, “How do you know I love you?” A worthwhile question to ask all family members this week!!