I awoke on my own to the sound of quiet and the smell of fresh coffee. It took me a minute to realize I wasn’t dreaming. As I sat up and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes I registered two things. Number one, Luke was still tucked in next to me. Number two, there was a piping hot cup of mocha-toffee flavored coffee on my nightstand.
It was Mary. She has mastered the art of the Keurig. That’s not the only thing she had mastered, though. In this particular instance she had made a cup of coffee, just for me, because she knows I love coffee. She didn’t wake me up to show me she had made it. She didn’t bring coffee and ask for anything. She simply left it for me to enjoy. This means she has mastered the art of selfless acts. To put it simply, she really and truly loves me.
Later that same day I sat curled up in a big comfy chair with Carl. We both had mystery books. we just sat by the fire in the late afternoon sun and read together. Outside the window I could see the bleak New England winter with it’s brownish grey snow piles and skeletal tree limbs. Inside was warm and bright and snuggly. Carl didn’t need anything from me except physical closeness. As he snuggled deeper into my side I was warmed by his little limbs and by his love for me. He wasn’t asking for anything. To put it simply he was just loving me.
These are the moments that fill me up as a mother. This is how I always imagined parenthood would be. I hold these moments dear in my memory because love hasn’t always come easily for my children. We are so often fighting a war against their past trauma. In order for them to learn to express love they needed to feel safe.
Trauma is very similar to the harsh New England winter wind that rattles the windows and batters our house. Past trauma and attachment difficulties attack our fragile relationships with these children. It isn’t often that we find relief from the storm of their emotions.
On the days like this I can ignore the storm outside. I must remember to be grateful for the love I’ve fought so hard for. These are the moments we are safe and happy. These are the moments that shelter us from the storm.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.
*If you’ve ever though about fostering or adopting, I encourage you to get started on your own adventure!