The other day I took my kids to the gym with me. When I went to pick them up from the play area after I’d finished working out, I passed the window to the room that they were in.
My daughter saw me through the glass and jumped up and waved.
And when I opened the door, she was standing at the front desk, smiling. “Mommy!” she said, hugging me tight.
I’d only been “gone” for an hour, but by the way she acted, you’d guess it had been a week.
This sweet greeting from my third-grader seriously melted my heart. And it made me think…
How do I say hello to her?
I thought about the morning before, when I woke her up with a quick kiss on the forehead, then launched into a very rushed, “Don’t take too long getting ready because it’s our day to carpool. And you need to clean your room before we leave. It looks like a tornado came through here.”
I thought about when I’d picked my kids up from school that day, too. We’d walked through the park, passing others who were playing on the swings and buying ice-cream from the ice-cream truck. I shuffled my kids along, reminding them to hurry because we had to get to basketball. I barely registered their disappointed faces when I told them we didn’t have time for ice-cream.
And now I’m thinking I need to be more aware of this greeting thing.
Because I want to make sure when I say hi to my kids, or to my husband, or to anyone, I’m doing it in a way that really acknowledges them. And I want to give the kind of greeting that focuses on that moment, not all of the things on the schedule ahead.
I truly appreciated how my daughter made me feel that day at the gym. And I appreciated the reminder to slow down and take the time to make my kids feel special.
Because I want them to know how much I love them.
With every single hello.