Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Love: Missing in Action...

I've never been shy about telling my sons that I love them.

It never occured to me that my sons would feel unloved. Why would they?

But it's been no secret, that my older son and I have had a tense relationship at times. I have lamented before, that it feels like we have very little bond. Overnight, he seemed to turn from my sweet baby, into a wilful boy, and I can barely remember the in-between.

Sometimes it feels like we are constantly "rubbing each other the wrong way". He is defiant and argumentative. I am busy and absent-minded.

I have tried every disciplinary action and positive reinforcement strategy I can think of. All to no avail.

Last night, we played a fun game of hide-and-seek. When it was time for bed, I made a comment about how nice it was to play together, instead of arguing.

He said "But...but..why don't you want me anymore?" and his little face crumpled into streams of tears.

Oh, my precious boy!

I was also crumpling into streams of tears.

We cried and cuddled. He confided that I mustn't love him, because I was always angry at him, and I never wanted to play.

The wilful boy was gone. He was just my boy. Carrying around a heavy heart, believing his mummy didn't want him anymore.

I chose to give up some things in order to be a stay-at-home mum. I chose to cook from scratch, and limit packaged foods because I wanted my children to be healthy. I chose to work on projects I am passionate about, because I wanted my sons to grow up knowing that ordinary people can make a difference in the world.

But my son, didn't see any of those decisions that I agonised over.

One day, he will understand that I made those choices because I felt they were right...but right now, all he sees is that mummy is too busy, and he is an inconvenience.

I don't remember ever hearing the words "I love you" when I was growing up, yet I never doubted that my parents loved me completely, because their actions told me so.

I can't help but reach the conclusion that, through a child's eyes, time equals love. In our time-poor society, where we try our best to "manage" time and "make" time (neither of which are possible, by the way!! Time marches on, regardless of us mere mortals...) giving someone your time is the simplest way to say "I care".

"I love you" loses it's meaning, when our actions tell a different story.

My words and my actions need to be on the same page. Starting today. Now.

"What I do, is more important than what I say. And what I am, is more important than what I do."

PS. This will probably be my last chance to post before Christmas, so I would like to wish all my readers a happy and safe holiday season. My wish is that everyone, will get the chance to slow down, and enjoy time with people they love. Make it less about the presents, and more about the presence...

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