Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Music to My Ears - A Child's Concept of Love

Learning to talk is such a fun and amazing adventure for a toddler. Some days it leaves me in awe how much my little guy picks up here and there. Words and phrases that I did not explicitly try to teach him pop up all the time now and I think it is so cool. One of the most exciting set of words you will hear come out of your toddler's mouth is "I love you". Kaelan has been parroting that back to me for months now. It was always cool to hear but I often wondered if it was anything more than mimicry.
Earlier today, Kaelan and I were chilling on the couch together. We were drawing together with his markers and having a nice calm moment while Hailey napped. I drew him a crocodile. Kaelan immediately recognized it, said "dat's croc-dile," and giggled in excitement. His amusement made me smile, and I told him "Oh buddy, I love you." He looked up at me, flung himself at me and buried his head into my side as he hugged me. Then he looked up at me, said "love you too mama," and gave me a kiss. I almost fell off the couch. It was so sweet it almost makes me want to employ one of those vastly over used blogosphere phrases like *I die* or *le sigh*. . . almost. It was the sweetest little moment ever though. It was so simple yet so genuine - I love my little dude so much! I might tear up just thinking about it. Ahhh hormones. I also think it is cool that he is starting to have a good grasp on a fairly abstract concept like love.
I'm sure the been-there-done-that parents can relate to how amazing it is when your child can show you that you're appreciated. It makes all the many frustrating moments of parenthood seem so insignificant; Truth is that in the long run, they are rather insignificant.

Being told "I love you," is the most literal form of showing affection, but these little kernels of joy are sprinkled throughout the daily routine. Some parents have a harder time realizing it, and certainly some days it is impossible to see. Kaelan has always been my independent little guy so I don't get that affirmation as much from him which made that little moment today all the sweeter. I know he loves me whether he tells me or not though. Hailey is much more obvious in her actions since she is a total momma's girl. Despite my occasional frustrations, I can't claim to hate that she reaches for me whenever I come into the room, or that she seems to have morphed into my shadow now that she can crawl fast enough. This "love" in baby form is a natural and necessary attachment that all healthy parent-child relationships have. As a parent, seeing evidence that you are getting such an important part of your child's emotional development right is an amazing feeling.

Fostering that attachment as my children grow older is important to me. I want the kind of relationship with my own kids (when they're adults) as I have with my parents. Second only to my husband, my parents are my go-to shoulders when I need advice, support, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to share joyous news with. I don't talk to or visit them out of obligation; I do so because I like spending time with them multiple times a week if I can. I hope my kids can say the same someday because I know way too many people in my life that cannot.
I suppose I will end this post now since I am getting all gushy on everyone. It's funny what the words of a toddler can spur, but I'm glad to have it written down for all to see. I hope this inspires all the parents reading this (all 3 of you) to stop and appreciate the little things like a simple, though genuine, I love you. What kind of things have your kids done lately that give you the warm fuzzies?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!