Baby told me “I love you,” more than 10 times yesterday.
Why are you telling me so many times, I asked.
Because I want you to know.
I find it interesting how culturally different she and I are. My mother never told me she loved me when I was growing up. In the society I grew up in, “I love you,” was considered mushy, irrelevant information that had little bearing on day to day living. It was much more useful to do something that improved the life of the object of your affection.
For example, mothers fed their kids first before they themselves ate, to make sure that the kids grew healthy and strong. If the family came by a luxury item – ice cream, chocolate, snacks, cool drinks, even meat- the smallest kids were given first and I it was too small, older kids knew that only the youngest would get a piece.
Older kids didn’t necessarily like the arrangement, but it was a fact of life that the smallest kids got the lion’s share of whatever was available.
Baby, on the other hand, is growing up in a culture where feelings of love are spoken about on a regular basis. She is also fortunate in that our circumstances are improving and the things that we used to consider luxury items are basic necessities that she takes for granted.
I don’t want to downplay the importance of a child being told that she is loved, because sometimes when you are shown, not told, it’s hard to understand the message.
I remember as a child, waiting for my parents to act like all the other parents on TV and to tell me they loved me, and being disappointed that they didn’t.
However, I want Baby to know that telling someone you love them is not enough. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the easy part. Living your love, showing your family and friends that they are important to you through your day to day actions is much more important.
“If your mother has never told you she loves you, how do you know she does?” Baby asked.
I don’t know. I just do.