I know God has a sense of humor because of the people he has given me to spend this earthly life with.  We don’t speak the same language, you see. And one would think that people living in the same house unable to understand each other might lead to hilarity. It should anyway.

Here’s the problem.  My love language – the way I hear and show love – is words of affirmation and gifts.  I like to write notes and send presents and feel touched if someone does that for me.  But my spouse and my children?

Philip I get.  He is most definitely a gift kid and mailing an envelope is just about the best thing in the world for him. Max remains a bit of an enigma, but I know what he is not:

Physical touch.

When I first typed that, it came out “Physical tough.” AMEN.  It IS tough.  I don’t get it.  It rather rubs me the wrong way, no pun intended.  But for my husband and girls?  THAT’S where it’s at!

And so God laughs. A woman who could go without hugs and kisses like she goes without chocolate (it’s good every now and again in small pieces. . . ) is paired with a man who needs contact like air and to their union is given two little ones who need to be held. A lot.

I try to be mindful.  I try to remember what they need from me is more than food and clean clothes and kind words.  They NEED to be on my lap/draped over my shoulders/between my knees when I read. They need me to hold hands, lug them on hips, and kiss owies.

It’s easy to forget.

Thankfully (or not so much), my girls are vocal.  And pushy.  Every child has come to the stage where they demand, “Mama! Hole-jew!” I think from the question, “Do you want me to hold you?” Ellie has entered it.  She stands on my feet, paws behind my knees and arches her back to look up at me.  “Hole-jew!” She yells.  She’s hard to ignore.

For Tess, “rocking” has become a necessity.  Philip started it, but it’s now Tess who asks, often in a yell to be heard from downstairs, “Will you w-o-o-o-o-ock meeeeeeeee?” When I remember to give in, I take her on my lap and squeeze while I sing ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ Two choruses and the verse is all she needs and it’s really not much.  But now Ellie, upon my entrance, will hop up and grab the side of the crib. “Mama bocka-bocka Eh-ya? Bocka bocka, peeeaaazzzzze???” It can become quite frantic.

Then there are the mornings.  Ellie, upon being released from her cage, er crib, comes to find me.  She grunts and groans and scratches and claws her way up on top of the bed, over my head and under the covers.  She is in search of skin and warmth and nothing can deter her.  She is like a bulldozer/jackhammer with a paci and she will head butt and ram and pull until she molds me into the proper pillow position. I can become quite frantic.

And so, I continue to try and learn this new language.  It takes patience and hard work and total immersion. More than once there have been tears on one side or the other.  But I’m learning.  And God willing, one day I will be bilingual.

Until then, a translator might be nice. . .

Does that make YOU laugh, Lord?