Monday, December 21, 2009

The Love Question

After writing that last post...I got to thinking about how much love my kids really do show me. No inhibitions. From Sam spontaneously busting out with, "I love you so much, Mommy!" to Charly squeezing me so tight because she's brimming with emotion. And we all know that Felix has no inhibitions in cuddling and demanding to be cuddled.

So then I started thinking, "I'm sure I was like that when I was a kid...what happened to me?" Is this an inevitability everyone goes through? As an adult, are we taught to not love as much or show that love? Does school and the cold, hard world make us shrink back into our shells, become calculating and cynical? Put up masks, play games?

I have no idea. All I know is that I hope I'm not a huge contributor to the un-lovingness of my children. I hope I don't teach them to un-love.

I don't have much control over what happens to my kids "out there," a terrifying idea in and of itself, but hopefully I can help Sam deal with situations like, "She doesn't want to be my friend anymore," and "A boy kicked me at recess." It makes me sad that these things happen. Where's the line of teaching kids to survive "out there" and still being emotionally available?

Because the last thing I want to do is to send them out on their own emotionally stunted, having to learn how to love all over again, the hard I did, or wondering whether you really knew how to truly love in the first place.

I guess the best I can do it to create and emotionally safe environment, where it's okay to experience all emotions, it's what you do with them that's important. Teaching skills, rather than controlling emotions...


  1. sometimes I feel like I didn't ever really learn to love very well growing up (or was so insecure I mostly thought of myself). I often feel bad for my children because I think they are teaching me how to love in ways I was never "forced" to before; for that I am grateful but I feel bad for them that they are my guinea pig in many respects!