Every now and then, my children do or say things to atone for the stress they cause me, the lifeblood they suck out of me, the emotions they wring from me. This is not to say that my dear offspring do not also bring me joy, fascination and the deepest, most indestructible love. I'm just saying - there's also the vomit-bucket-holding, the dispute-negotiating, the endless cooking and cleaning and bathing and dressing and toothbrushing and ..... I think I've made my point. Kid-raising is no light task.
So when I am given one of Ben's ferocious hugs, or one of Laura's soft cheek-dusting kisses, it is always a delight - an oasis of pure happiness in the day.
Sometimes, it is an amusing statement that makes my day. Last week, when I insisted Ben go get dressed, he pouted, "You're wrecking my life!". It was the absolute highlight of my day. For what could be a better benchmark for success as a mother than to check whether or not you are ruining your child's life? Ruining their lives is our job. I take that role seriously.
Other times, my kids reduce me to a pool of melted mother. They say the sweetest things, and I am putty in their grubby little hands.
This morning, I made some remark about my face. I can't remember exactly what I said, (though I can reassure you that it was unlikely to have been, "Gosh but my face is looking terrific this morning!"). Laura, always wanting to make her mother happy, chimed in with, "Mummy your face is pretty".
Ben spoke clearly from the opposite side of the table, "Your face isn't pretty Mummy." I glanced over, and raised an eyebrow (because really, if you can't brainwash your children - who you have incubated, birthed and nurtured - to believe their mother is beautiful, then what hope have you got with the rest of the population?)
Ben grinned devilishly and finished with, "....it's adorable!"
Ah. Good save, my sweet son. Well done! Now excuse me while I find a corner to go melt in.