Mommy never played with me.
She was always too busy working, or too busy folding laundry or cleaning, or too tired, or something.
Mommy always smiled, but she yelled sometimes too – when I wouldn’t stay in bed, or when I fought with my brother, or when we outright defied her or didn’t listen.
I thought if she just played with me, she would be happy.
I thought Mommy forgot how to play.
I knew she loved me, though, because she always hugged me extra tight and kissed my forehead.
She always took good care of me when I was sick, and sometimes I acted a little sicker than I was, because I got more Mommy love.
I noticed that sometimes, Mommy looked sad, and I thought it was because she wished she could play with me too.
At night, Mommy was tired, and I knew she just wanted to finish up her stuff and go to bed.
But, Mommy always took her time tucking me in at night, so I would fall asleep and rest well.
I always asked Mommy to play with me.
I loved to play cards, and jacks, and do gymnastics, and color, and give my babies bubble baths.
Mommy always watched me play from another part of the room, but I could always see her… busy, stressed, worried, and not smiling much until she looked at me.
One day, Mommy seemed like she really needed to play, so I asked her again to play with me.
I could tell she was going to tell me “no” again, so I started to walk away.
But, Mommy started to crack a smile, and her eyes got brighter and softer.
She came over to hug me and squeezed me really, really tight.
I didn’t think I did anything really, really good to deserve THAT much love, but it felt so good.
Mommy stopped hugging me and grabbed my shoulders, looking into my eyes with a really big smile.
“Yes, I will most certainly play with you today,” she said.
I think Mommy really needed to play that day.
So we played cards, and she didn’t seem to mind that I beat her in every game of war and “go fish” that we played.
She laughed… a lot, and so did I.
Since then, Mommy always plays.
She does gymnastics with me, and we play jacks together – though she always beats me.
We play cards, and we color, and we go on bike rides and get ice cream.
Sometimes Mommy still has to work and we can’t play that day, but most of the time, she plays with me.
I always loved my Mommy, but now, I feel like Mommy does too.