I'm not good with words of affirmation. In the five love languages list it's all the way at the bottom of my list. Right down there with physical touch. Way down there. Way, way down. As in, you can't get any lower.
It's not that I can't think of encouraging words; it's that I think of too many words. I would love to affirm the Good Doctor by saying, "Thank you for going to the grocery store for me," but then I would really have to follow it up with, "Too bad you got cherry M and Ms when I explained in great detail that what I wanted was a bag of Valentine M and Ms so I could make cookies and those cherry things are just gross. Who ever heard of cherry flavored M and Ms?" See? I just don't think he would feel so affirmed after all that. And I'd really like to say, "Thank you for volunteering to go back to the grocery store to get Valentine M and Ms so I can make cookies," but then I would definitely have to add, "But why would you buy me a whole bag of mini regular M and Ms rather than the requested Valentine M and Ms so now I have to go through the whole bag and pick out just the red ones for Valentine's Day?" Just doesn't work well when all my life I've been told that if I have nothing nice to say I should say nothing at all.
And it's not much easier with the children. I'd love to say, "What a lovely purse you made me out of jean pockets," but then in full disclosure I'd have to add, "I'll just put it with all of the other lovely trash-to-someone's?-treasure crafts you've made for me." How crushing! I couldn't possibly say that. Or when I'd love to say, "That was so nice of you to leave the room before farting," but I'd have to follow it up with, "But you really should not have come back into the kitchen so soon afterward because your scent is killing off the guests." Yes, sometimes it's better to say nothing at all.
So what's a mom to do when she knows she should be more encouraging? Well, I'm working on it. I'm much better at writing than speaking so when I saw an idea to write encouraging thoughts on hearts and post one each day from Feb. 1 - Feb. 14 on each child's door, I was on it! I did enlist the Good Doctor's help in writing encouraging notes but that's because 14 words of affirmation times 6 children (the oldest and youngest missed out this time) equals... well, even I know it equals a lot of writing. Someone did suggest that I should also include the Good Doctor, maybe even posting his hearts on our bathroom mirror but, well, maybe next year.
Instead, I'll just thank him for all his help with the hearts. But you could have heeded my instructions to read my comments first so you didn't double up. I had to redo half of them!
Oops, too many words. Time to shut my mouth.
Happy Family Love Day to one and all!