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What I Did for Love {or, 10 Ways to Make Your Loved Ones Feel Loved}


i asked my son, now 21, to text me when he arrived safely back to school, less than an hour away. i realized a few years ago, i have no idea how he and his brother are living at school… save what they choose to tell me. so after multiple trips home and multiple episodes of “mooOOOoom…” and declarations of their age and independence, i acquiesced to their plea … and negotiated for the initial text that they have arrived safely. i told them, what happens after that i don’t need to know (unless they chose to share), but that i did need to know they had arrived safely from our home to theirs.

so as he was leaving from christmas break, and i reminded him to send me that text, he smirked (smirked, not smiled, but smirked) his cute little smirk, playfully rolled his eyes, and said oh-so-snarky, yesss, mooommm. and i told him in the most loving way possible, you know what? i’m 51 and my parents still ask for a call that i’ve gotten home safely so get over it. this isn’t gonna end any time soon, and consider yourself lucky you have peeps who love you. so text me. because i love you. 

and goodness, do i love those peeps of mine.

i was blessed to be able to stay home with them, and raise them up and be a part of their daily lives. {their leaving (even my 16 year old daughter, who, although she still lives here, is rarely ever around) has been nothing short of heart-wrenching.} it was my goal that they feel loved. then and now. it’s easy to do things like buy their favorite toy (within reason) for a birthday, or take them to their friend’s house for a visit, but i’m not so sure that says i love you like acts of service, shared time, and most especially an attentive disposition. (it’s my personal belief) nothing says i love you like a great big warm welcome into the house or even into a room, with voice {saying their name}, with eyes {full, held, smiling eye contact} and with touch {hugs are the best, but touching their arm, shoulder, hair, face}. more than anything else i’ve tried to instill in my children, it is the gift of feeling loved that is most important to me.

+ so in honor of valentine’s day, here’s a short list of things to do to help make sure your loved ones feel loved :


  1. tell them
  2. tell them again. and again and again and again.
  3. make them pancakes {or cookies or popcorn or whatever your family’s special treat is-ours was pancakes from scratch} at odd hours… during playdates or sleepovers, after baseball games, for a change of pace for dinner during the week
  4. allow for special moments, out of the ordinary events… like sleeping in the living room, eating in front of the tv during a special broadcast or movie, or setting up a tent on the back porch
  5. discover {search and discover} what is important or meaningful for your loved one, and provide it  {so getting out of bed just after my husband does, making him a cup of coffee and leaving it on the bathroom sink while he’s in the shower is a morning ritual here}
  6. tell them. {did i mention tell them?}
  7. be a historian. reliving memories of good times together strengthens bonds and warms stressed relations. and children love to hear stories about their childhood, moments when they were the star.  it makes them feel important and loved to know you remembered or documented.
  8. turn off. turn off the radio in the car. turn off the tv at dinner {as a practice, but remember #3}. turn off the cell phone, especially during these few and precious moments when they are still with you. turn off the stress of your life, even if just for a few moments – it will serve you both, and help you to keep perspective.
  9. make special occasions special. life is too short to not celebrate special occasions.
  10. make ordinary days special. it might be a little lofty to make every day special, but sometimes, for no reason at all, aside from the fact that you love them, make an ordinary day special. during their early elementary years, i used to take my kids out of school for a special one-on-one lunch date with me. they loved it, but i think i loved it more.



How do you make your peeps feel loved?


*i was invited to describe what i do to show my loved ones love. this is an uncompensated post and completely my own thoughts and opinions, but i am hashtagging to participate in this project, hosted by Bloom Nation, a marketplace to list or discover uniquely handcrafted bouquets, in case buying flowers is your way of showing love.

  • February 12, 2016 - 4:17 pm

    Southern Gal - Our older two children are married and are still asked to call/text when they get to their destination and when they return home. And my husband and I still call our parents. 😉 Your children are blessed to have had the love and care you provide for them. Sweet post.

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