Worthy of being loved

I thought I was being a good mother. I was wrong.

This weekend, I’ve been dance mom. Correction. This week, I’ve been dance mom. For several nights, I stayed awake long past bed time, glueing rhinestones and fairy wings onto a costume, organizing costumes into her dance bag, and prepping hair and makeup products for the big competition and convention.

I thought I was supporting her in the way she needed to be supported.

I was wrong.

I was being dutiful. I was being responsible. I was being organized. I’ll pause to pat myself on the back for the well deserved self-praise. And then I’ll promptly rescind the self-appreciation.

Secretly, I enjoyed the late nights of dutiful dance mom-ness. It was quiet. I listened to music, which, ironically, I never do. I was alone with my thoughts, peacefully working with my hands, creating.

Selfishly, in the morning, I showed everyone the costume, and the organized ziplock bags, as if to say, “Look at what I did. See how much I love you? See how I sacrificed my own time and sleep to do this?”

The weekend was going to be crazy and I was doing my due diligence to make everything run as smoothly as possible. Greg would be out of town this weekend. Ella and Carson would have to spend the weekend with Lola. And Cecelia... well, you know. I’ll see her in April. My little family would be in four different places.

It was born out of necessity that it would be me and this one all weekend. I did her makeup and curled her hair. I watched her dance. I ran with her to the dressing room in between dances for quick changes. I pulled out all of the wonderfully organized bags to help her change and I reorganized everything.

But for all my efforts to organize and plan to be a good mom, the moment of honesty and true motherhood came in and took me by surprise. The mother that I wanted to be gave way to the mother that Eva needed me to be. She surfaced in the moments in between, as I held Eva’s hand in between classes, as I checked in with her and gave her language to her emotional state, as I snuggled in bed with her at the end of the night and chatted with her about the day.

Eva’s love language is quality time. I didn’t know how to do quality time until this moment, when it was thrust upon me over the course of three days, much the same way a hurricane thrusts itself upon land, with an undeniable force that can only be credited to God.

My love language is touch, and unfortunately, Eva is not a particularly snuggly person. So my heart broke and burst with joy, all at the same time, as she sat on my lap this morning and hugged me tightly. For a long time.

Without cause and without the need to earn it, she is worthy of my love.

It took this moment for me to realize that without cause and without the need to earn it, that I, too, am worthy of her love.