After being annoyed with them pretty much most of the day I head to my room and find THIS. Immediately my eyes well up with tears and a GIANT smile emerges on my face. I picture the little hands creating this picture. I feel the love and JOY that went into every stroke of the crayon. I flash back to every smile, the blonde curls and the hugs. The LOVE.
Guilt. Shame. Sadness now fill my soul. I am ashamed at my own attitude and lack of parenting skills. In my heart they 'deserved' my anger. My annoyance was real and I just could not get away from it. Now at the end of the day that anger was not worth it. It is never worth it and I feel terrible that I could not shake it off.
I go into their room and kiss them goodnight. I hold onto them and whisper to them that I'm sorry. I look at them and promise in my heart that tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow they will feel loved and appreciated no matter what happens. They may be rude or selfish, break or rip things. I will correct them but at all times they will know they are loved. That is my promise.
And hopefully THEY will forgive ME.