I Love You - More

I believe our children have messages and things to teach us. I can tell you stories from each of my kids. My youngest son, Ryan, has given me one of the simplest, yet one of the most profound messages.

Since he was a baby, our bedtime ritual has involved reading stories and snuggling. At the end of our cuddling, I tell him I love him as I leave his room. Since he was four years old, he has been telling me in response, “I love you more!"

I remember debating him over this thought for at least a year. I told him it was not possible for him to love me more than I loved him. Until I had children, I had no idea how all encompassing, consuming and pervasive a mother’s love was. I hear many other mothers say the same thing about their children – their lives and priorities changed the moment they had children. They had no idea they could love someone as much as they now loved this new little human. I felt the same thing with the birth of each of my children.

So, how could my four year old son possibly understand that? How could he know the depth of a mother’s love at a mere four years old?


Our bedtime ritual, including our “I love you’s” continued. At some point I gave up trying to explain the depth of my love for him. Maybe he had reached the ripe old age of five by then. I decided he would understand sometime in the future, but for now, we would say the words we each felt in our hearts, and I would simply allow them to be. 

During the next few years, I would begin a process of personal transformation. My marriage ended, and I would leave my long-term job and profession in accounting, and my small town of twenty plus years, as well as the state of Massachusetts, for a cross country move to California.

As I shed each layer of who I had been, I found parts of myself that I long ago forgot. Throughout this time, my little guy would continue to tell me he loved me “more”. But now there was another voice echoing his, one I couldn’t hear in the chaos of my old life. It was my daughter, Mary, whom I had aborted almost twenty years earlier. Her presence would come at the most unexpected times, but her message was always the same. I am here and I love you. 
The messages from Ryan and Mary came full circle in 2012 when I read James Van Praagh’s book Growing Up in Heaven. He writes that our children chose us to be their parents, even children who are miscarried or aborted. These children know that they will not be born, but choose to come into the mother’s life to help them learn lessons of self-worth and self-love. 

As I read those words, I sobbed. Suddenly, I knew Ryan was right. He did love me more. And so did my daughter Mary. They are in my life to help me learn a lesson in love and self-worth. There was nothing more I needed to do to deserve that love, I was enough just as I was. 

Now, when Ryan says to me “I love you more Mommy”, I say “I know Ryan, I know”. 



  1. Christina, beautifully written! And, so very touching...

    1. Thank you very much Dinah! It is pretty intimate for me to share these expereinces and am happy to know ir resonated for you.

  2. Dear Christina, Thank you so much for the reminder about James Van Praagh's stories and the perspective he offers. I've usually countered my own daughter's response of "I love you more" to my "I love you"'s with "but Melissa, I love you MOST".... now I will rethink that and I will share the JVP (and your) perspective. Thank you!! I, too, have been through a divorce and an abortion, and yet I am loved unconditionally by my daughter. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. Thank you for sharing.... Phyllis

    1. How wonderful that you feel that love too Phyllis! It is such a liberating, beautiful feeling! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I beleive that as we share our stories, we heal ourselves more deeply and help others to heal - and also know they are not alone.
      James Van Praagh's stories are so compelling. There is so much love coming from his work and opening up to the other side . . . .