every time you breathe

“Do you know every time you breathe Mom and Dad love you more?” I stop half way down the stairs and listen to the conversation unfold at the breakfast table between Stephanie and Jordan.

“Huh?”

“It’s true,” she insists. “Every time you breathe they love you more.” I hear her suck in a deep breath. “See? They love me more. You try it.”

“Try what?” I can’t even see his face and I know disbelief is written all over it.

She sucks air in through her nose. It’s so loud it has to hurt. “You do it.”

I hear a little sniff.

“Told you.”

“Tol’ me what?”

She breathes in again. “They love us more.”

“How?”

There is a pause. I hear the spoons cling against the cereal bowls. “I’m not sure. I think you have to be a mom or dad to understand it. I just know it works.”

“We just gotta breathe?”

She breathes again and then coughs from the milk that probably went through her nostrils from breathing in as much as she possibly could.

I hear another sniff.

“They love us more.”

“Huh. I didn’t know people love yas jus’ cause you breathe.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty great.”

I finish walking down the stairs and smile when I see them at the breakfast table. Stephanie takes a deep breath. Jordan sniffs a little. I say, “I keep loving you guys more and more.”

Their giggles make my heart grow. I hate to tell her, but I don’t think it’s something you ever understand — even when you’re a mom.

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16 Comments »

  1. This brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my heart. What a wonderful story. You are definitely doing something right with these kids of yours!

  2. Hard to tell who is luckier: Steph to have Jordan to welcome into her heart, Jordan to be welcomed by Steph, or you to have both of them to love more and more and more. I imagine you are breathing lots of love in and out of your soul these days!

  3. Oh, Ruth, love that Stephanie thought that it was a good thing to share with her new brother. It's such a gift, to think of what someone might need. You & your husband have shown her that, I'm sure. I think it's called “pay it forward”. Even in families, we do that, don't we? Thank you for sharing such a lovely slice of your life.

  4. A perfect slice to melt the heart! Stephanie is so smart, and as Linda mentioned, what a gift she gave Jordan. There is nothing more to do than just breathe and we love our kiddos even more. Thank you for sharing this little moment and I'm so glad you were able to overhear it!

  5. Another gorgeous slice…I pray every day that my boys will know in deep and unending ways how very loved and how very wanted they are.

  6. Ruth – you are amazing. Every time I read your posts I feel deep emotion. This was awesome and I may use it in my fiction somewhere. Not exactly, but something similar. You rock!
    Thanks!
    M

  7. Such a sweet post! The fact that they know you love them so much is a testament to how you treat them. I love how you wrote, “their giggles make my heart grow”. Here's to many more moments that give you a bigger heart!