Simple Motherhood: Essential Delight

A Monday morning of unpacking boxes and I was ready for a bowl of miniwheats and The Good Wife.  Rain pattered heavy on the windows and I needed to catch my breath.  Alicia, played by Juliana Marguiles and her mother played by actress Stockard Channing, met over nachos and cocktails and I guess the alcohol started flowing heavy because so did their conversation.  “Mom, I don’t think you ever liked me when I was little,” Alicia says staring candidly at her mother. “You never did anything with me that you didn’t HAVE to do.”

It was just two sentences and honestly I don’t remember the mom’s answer but only how devastating it would be to believe your mom puts up with you, provides for you, perhaps even loves you, but doesn’t truly LIKE you.


Cereal bowl empty, I turned off the tv but the words kept echoing.


Here’s the truth of it. I have a pretty amazing drill sergeant act.  It’s how I keep little people in line, but in the midst of my carting them from place to place, do they know that I enjoy them? I fear my easy temper and impatience provides them with their answer.

Xavier takes the brunt of it. He gets aggressive and I get more stern and we have a way of baiting each other that leads to tantrums…for both of us.


I picked Xavier up from preschool with a new intention to “like” my son…to make sure he knew I “like” him. I got down on my knees, looking into his eyes as I helped him with his backpack. My hands slowed down in respect, my voice softened. I want you to know I like you little man, I was thinking as I held his hand and slowed my steps.  I want to know I like you, I repeated internally as I stopped my forever list of chores and played Trouble with him on the kitchen floor.  Xavier did a victory lap around the kitchen table and I stood back and clapped.

Summer Gross

How do you show that you take delight in your family members?



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1 Comment

  1. This is great, Summer. I sometimes worry my kids will only remember the mom who lost her patience, who hurried them along, who complained about dirty socks left in every room … you’ve reminded me how easy it really is to make sure that isn’t all they’ll carry with them. Thank you, friend.

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