Weekly Special: This is me loving you
July 30, 2010 § 4 Comments
I only know how to love my kids one way- my way. No parent really knows if “their way” is the best way, but this is my humble take.
The other day, bilingual baby was doing something that had me all reactive. I just couldn’t connect with her at all. I remembered something Josh and I heard a pastor say during a wedding ceremony we went to in Michigan.
You need to fill up each others love tank.
The pastor went on but this is what made us giggle. Love tank? You gotta be kidding me. Several years gone by and I still would chuckle at what I thought was a simplistic, silly, and rather odd approach to marital advice. I silently vowed never to give that kind of advice.
What I could have never anticipated was feeling that pure, simple, silly love for someone else. It’s the kind of love that I have for my children. It’s a level of love I have never felt. One that supersedes the love I felt up until I first gave birth. The love that rips your heart open and nestles inside. The love that gets you to say the sweetest things, and the most hurtful. The love that made me reconsider what I had heard those years ago.
I think I understand now. The pastor was onto something. His heart was open to divine intervention and although his advice may have felt pity at my hard heart, it stayed with me for the moment when I would need it.
So there I stood, in front of my little girl, who was having the hardest time opening her heart to her brother, and I wondered if her “love tank” was depleted. What if the advice the pastor gave me was ready to be put into use? I asked if she needed me to show her my love, and she said, Yes. I held her, remembering the day she came into this world and into my imperfect care. I thought of a day when she might not feel as close as I did to her in that perfect moment. I tried to imprint on myself the feeling of being in tune with my brown-eyed girl.
She let go, and as she patted her belly, told me that her body was full of my love and now she could show her baby brother love. We talked about showing love to our family and that sometimes when people get mad, they may just need us to show them that we love them. She verbally drafted a flow chart of who needed love from whom in our family.
I don’t always find the space in me to grow, but the few days I do, I’m thankful.