As parents, we spend so much time worrying about what our children need from us, we sometimes miss recognizing the very important needs they fill for us.
This is especially true when it comes to emotional needs. Even at a young age, children sometimes have divine wisdom that is far beyond their years, wisdom that clears the cobwebs out of our complacent brains and makes things clear again.
This past week was the one year anniversary of my mother's death. Not ever having experienced such a milestone, I approached the day with trepidation. But when it came, I realized it was just like any other day when I would recall fond memories of my amazing, intelligent, kind, vibrant mother, my best friend, something I had done every day since July 8, 2012. I tried very hard to keep my emotions in check around my daughters as I knew they too were grieving and didn't need to see me fall apart.
Late one night in the middle of the week my 10-year-old arrived at my bedside, sobbing. She told me she missed her grandmother. I hugged her, stroked her hair, and kissed her a million times on the top of her head assuring her that her feelings were normal, and that it was OK to cry. Then, she hesitated, and I realized there was more.
"What is it?" I asked in the darkness as I wiped away her tears from beneath her eyes with my thumbs.
"I need to love you more now because you don't have a Mommy to love you," she replied pulling away to reveal her tear-stained, red cheeks in the glow of the moonlight coming in the bedroom window. I was suddenly struck by how someone like me, with all my imperfections, could have created such a beautiful person.
"I can't imagine what that is like for you," she continued in between sobs.
"Sweetie, you don't know how much that means to Mommy," I said drawing her in for another tight hug. "And believe me, you love me more than enough for two people. Your grandmother would be proud."
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.