Though I lecture and harp at my children and have not love, I will be background noise to rebellious thoughts.
And though I wisely warn them not to use the street as a playground, or they'll be killed; and though I patiently explain why snails live in mobile homes, and I give endless answers to life's other mysteries; and though I have faith that can remove mountains of ignorance - yet never hug my children - I have taught nothing.
And though I slave over a steaming stove with balanced diets and complicated recipes and even burn my fingers - yet never smile as I serve - I have not really fed them.
A truly loving mother suffers through unfinished sentences, clutter, nicks on furniture, sleepless nights and adolescent insults, and is kind enough to think her kids are the greatest. A loving mother tries not to resent her children for being free like she used to be, and she doesn't brag about how she never talked to her mom that way.
Real love considers a childish nightmare more urgent than her need for sleep; is not shattered by the title "Meanest Mom"; doesn't shame a toddler who breaks training or a teen who still spills milk; steadfastly refuses to entertain visions of escape; and does not smirk as her child trips over the toy he refused to put away (but with silent wisdom rejoices in the effective lessons of experience).
Mother love has arms strong from lifting, a heart large with believing, a mind stretched with hoping, shoulders soft with enduring and knees bent with committing.
True mother-love never fails to point her child to the Author of Love.
"And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."