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For all my hollow ends in childhood, I feel really good at this.

With such depth of conviction and certainty I can say that and really mean it. If fact, it strengthens me and gives me great joy to say it again and again in my heart. And so I do and especially in those moments when doubt threatens to steal from me.

Sitting in a first counseling appointment a few months back, as I finished explaining my reasons for wanting couch time with a professional I said, “You know it’s funny. For all my hollow ends in childhood, I feel really good at this.” I feel confident, sure of my mothering instincts, that I know my children deeply and that I know where I’m going in parenting them. Never perfect, but perfectly strong in my place in their universes. The counselor simply smiled and replied:

Those of us most intimately acquainted with hunger tend to be the best cooks.

Ironically, my kitchen talents exist in wine pairing and making ramen. What she meant was that those of us who craved something in childhood are often the best in knowing exactly what a child needs and how to give it to them – precisely because we are intimately familiar with its absence. For me that was assurance that I was wanted, trusted, and worthy. That I wasn’t an inconvenience, that I had inherent value and most of all – that I was delighted in.

In our vows, I told my husband, “I am so proud to be your wife,” and he offered me the reflection. Borrowing from our covenant with one another and our Father, I tell my sweet boys every night that I am so proud to be their momma. Not only are they wanted, but delighted in always.