Home > Love, Parenting, Uncategorized > Love you well deserve

Love you well deserve


“You both
have so much energy,”
a mom told my husband
as she watched him and me
play with our boys
at the playground
a few weeks ago.

“Yeah, well,
we have fun,”
he replied.

I was saddened
by the exchange,
but not sure why.

I kept stepping.

“It really looks
like you’re having fun
with your kids!” a cashier
told me and my husband
a few days later.
“It’s sweet.”

(“It just comes naturally
to my husband,” I should’ve said,
but didn’t.)

“My mom really
had fun with me
and my siblings,”
I said, smiling.

I was saddened
by the exchange,
but not sure why.

I kept stepping.

Last week,
someone told
my husband that
our seven-year-old
is just the sweetest.

“He said, ‘You can tell which
kids are so, so very loved,’
my husband relayed.

I was saddened
by the exchange,
and I knew just why.

I grew up
one of four kids.
I was never alone,
if I didn’t want to be.

My mom had a blast
with us, for as long as
she could, despite
all the hardship
she endured.

She loved us
as she wished
she’d been loved,
as often as she could.

I don’t believe
parents usually
wake up and think,
“Today would be a
great day to ignore
my kids and make
their lives hard.”

They wake up and
take long bus trips,
to three separate jobs,
hoping they will earn enough
to pay for the food, and the rent,
and the electricity, and the
only child care they can afford,
trying to ignore their
own empty bellies
as long as they
can feed their kids.

Or they do everything
they can, alone in
person or truth,
with no one to
share the load,
tired to the bone
while dreaming of
something better,
and less lonely by far.

Every child
should be so, so very loved,
but when they aren’t,
it’s not because
some parents
are good and
some parents
are bad.

It’s because
there are

If you are alone
and the hurdles
are far too many
for you to jump alone,
I want you to know
there is always a
place for you
on my sofa.

It’s eight years old,
ugly as could be,
reeking of all kinds of
things you wouldn’t want
in a scratch-and-sniff sticker,
and my two-year-old has
pulled out most
the padding, so
it’s just barely
cozier than
the center
of love in this
household since
this household began
eight years ago.

If you don’t
mind the mess,
you’re welcome
to sit with me and mine
in love

reading with j

Me and my littlest, on the couch

big d littler j

My brother and my littlest, on the couch


My biggest and my littlest, on the couch

You deserve better.


  1. February 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Well…I love you now. This is beautiful.

    • February 8, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      I wish I had more free time so I could write it even better, but … I will do what I can with what I have. ♥

  2. February 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Sometimes love and fun has to come before dirty dishes and crumbs on the floor because when I was struggling with five children on only hubby’s salary, with no help from family….it is now that all my kids are grown that I remember the fun times we had – even the picnics on the living room floor when it was raining outside.. The obstacles will always be there – children grow up way too fast.

    • February 8, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      I’m so grateful my mom was so open about what she was experiencing. Because of that, it makes it really easy (usually!) for me to forego pursuit of perfection and instead favor connection. My mom wasn’t close to perfect, but, man. I had a blast from her, so that I understood early … perfection is not my objective. Enjoying these moments that fly far, far too fast? That’s everything.

    • February 8, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      I’ve got 4 kiddos and my hubby’s a long haul truck driver. Our house is a sty, but we have lots of fun times

      • February 12, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        Not a sty. My grandma used to call it lived in

  3. February 8, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    This is very beautiful!

  4. February 9, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    This is very beautiful. Yet there are some truly “bad” parents, in that they’ve never learned what love is. My mother, for example, would tell me she “loved” me more than the other kids because she tried to kill herself while she was carrying me, and “no greater love has anyone than to give up their life for someone else.” (I’m quoting her.) Or my father that took me everywhere, unless he’d forgotten me somewhere — a bar, at court, in his own office… I was very well known to the “usual” people – bouncers, court officers, janitors, etc.– and they all knew better than to telephone my father’s house. They’d call a cab that dropped me off at the neighbor’s house… Thank God for our neighbors!

    • February 9, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      I hear you and feel such sadness for everything you endured. I know first-hand (as you know!) there are some tremendously damaged folks who consciously choose to do very, very little good and very, very much harm. These are a minority, so that focusing on them serves to sever us from the humanity of those many who are trying their damndest and can only barely keep going.

      I’m working on consciously disentangling myself from the fear, uncertainty, and doubt promulgated by those who benefit from it. A huge part of that is getting back to baseline trusting the goodness in people around me … while also being very receptive to any indicators the goodness is a facade. Thank goodness for Gavin de Becker, out there illuminating the warning signs … and affirming the instincts of those, like us, who learned to spot them firsthand!

  5. February 11, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hey Deborah,

    You’re a voice that elevates. I retweeted someone last week and it was kinda rough…140 characters…I’m kinda impulsive. There’s layers to stuff and you bubble those layers.


  1. July 13, 2017 at 2:37 am

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