“Mommy, I need you.”
These are the sweet little words that have come out of my child’s mouth the past few weeks.
The first time I heard her utter that sentence, I was busy doing something (I cannot even remember what now). She then pressed me by saying it a second time, “Mommy, I NEED you!”. She was looking at me with desperation to hold her after being scared by something.
This little girl was hardly making complete sentences. Her voice is small and adorable, and her pronunciation is hardly recognizable. But she learned very early how to tell me one of her greatest needs.
When I heard her the second time, my heart sank and my mind filled with a profound thought. My little girl bared her soul to tell me one of her deepest needs. She shared with me the fear of being abandoned and wondered if I would respond to her need. “Will mom be there for me when I need her?”. There was nothing else in the world that would make her heart feel safe. No one else. She wanted me.
I put down whatever was in my hand and stopped doing what I was doing as I recognized something amazing. As a mother, I have such an important and beautiful task to be there for my daughter when she needs me. I realized that there was much more to that moment than just a fleeting statement from my daughter. She told me one of her basic needs- her mother’s love and attention. If I simply continued to brush off this need, she would slowly learn that mommy doesn’t have time for her. She would learn that mommy is busy doing other things. She would learn that other things matter more to mommy than her.
How many little girls learn this from a young age? How many little girls start to build walls around their heart to protect themselves from the fear of abandonment and neglect? I fear, many. And probably by well meaning mothers like myself.
As all these things rushed through my mind, I almost wanted to cry from the raw vulnerability of my daughters heart. As she grows, she will always ask the question, “Am I important to my mom? Am I worth her time?”. I asked the same questions growing up. I think all girls ask these questions in the depths of their souls.
This morning I reflect on how thankful I am to be a mother to my daughter. I almost approach motherhood with a bit of trepidation at times. What a giant, overwhelming, beautiful, pressing, demanding, beautiful, sanctifying job to be a mom? My prayer this morning is that I would, through my actions, always respond when my daughter tells me she needs me. She is worth my time, effort, and love.