I was excited about Adela’s birthday. It was the first year I let her sit down with me and talk about how she wanted to celebrate, what friends she wanted to be there, etc. I loved having the opportunity to show our girl how important she is to us and how loved she is.
However, the day, though immensely fun, left me feeling like I had spent the day getting ducks in a row instead of actively expressing love to Adela. My friends with children agreed. Birthday parties are exhausting and you don’t have many moments feeling connected to your little ones.
In fact, Adela spent nearly half of the event crankily clinging to me.
The next day we drove down to the dinosaur museum in Tucumcari, New Mexico with some friends who had visited us from Albuquerque. It was a low-key day. We let the girls set the pace and I admit to being thrilled when Adela drug me around, wanting to spend a lot of time alone looking at the exhibits with her mom. It was the most enjoyable day I’ve spent with my little girl in a very long time.
What surprised me the most was how much Adela is changing. Her ideas are maturing and her sense of humor has expanded. Afterwards, we returned home and Adela was quiet and content. I noticed for several days afterward that she was much more cooperative and attentive. She was less anxious and it was easier than ever to communicate with her.
I know that spending a day with her like that was very important. It let her know that I loved her. That birthday party had been fun, but I hadn’t truly paid attention to my little girl. I had been more concerned with the pizza arriving, the drinks staying cold, and if our guests were enjoying themselves. Adela still needed more to know she was loved.
We are all like this. That’s why date nights with our significant others are so crucial. That is why phone calls with parents and coffee with friends are irreplaceable. We need that connection and reminder that we are loved.
Is there someone in your life that you feel disconnected with? Can you think of a way to let them know you love them?