Hindsight Parenting: 20 Ideas of Love
What Love Is
When you read this, Valentine’s Day 2014 will be a memory, but the column was penned the week before…so bear with me. Anyways, is there ever really any BAD time to talk about love? And truly, is there anyone more qualified to speak about this particular subject than a mother?
Although I didn’t grow up with the best model of what love is, the older I get the more chances I have had to observe those that are experts at it. Not only have I observed it, but I’ve experienced great love from so many special friends and family, that it is impossible not to learn more and more each day and give it back to my children. And although I have a lot to learn about the strongest emotion in the world, I am beginning to understand the nuances of this complicated thing called love:
- Love is not sleeping all night but finding a happy “Good morning” inside you at 6am when a tiny snuggler comes to join you in bed.
- Love is keeping a straight face when your child asks you if he or she can squeeze your finger to help her poop.
- Love is acting excited to watch Dora, Blues Clues, Little Bear, and Sesame Street even though they are the same episodes that you watched 15 years ago.
- Love is coming back down a flight of stairs to smell a bouquet of flowers in a large vase near the preschool door even though you have pressing things waiting for you at work.
- Love is knowing when to step up, step in or step back.
- Love is staying calm when red apple juice spills on your brand new couch and it is teaching responsibility when you hand your little one with the slippery fingers a washcloth and teach her how to scrub.
- Love is peanut butter kisses all–over–your–face.
- Love is wearing a pipe cleaner bracelet with pride all day long at work, to the grocery store, to the dentist office because a pair of pleading blues eyes asked you to when you were getting ready in the morning.
- Love is staying silent when mistakes are made and when a listening ear is needed.
- Love is a soft place to land when the consequences of those mistakes rear their ugly heads. It is strong, solid and steady no matter…no matter what.
- Love is hiding the hurt because they need your strength. It’s crying when they are asleep and smiling big when they are awake.
- Love is being anywhere they need you to be when they need you.
- Love is feeling rejuvenated at the sound of their voice, the sight of them rounding the corner, or when they open the front door.
- Love is adjusting your attitude, your expectations, your pride so you can connect, so you can apologize, so that you can be together.
- Love is letting them fly down a mountain on a flimsy board, jump in the air on a souped up pogostick, or walk down the stairs without your hand.
- Love is hiding stupid tears and a bit of a broken heart when they tell you that you can’t sing to them anymore at bedtime, that you don’t need to accompany them into the stall in a public bathroom anymore, or that they’d like you to stop kissing them in public.
- Love is being able to wait until they get old enough to cherish the kisses again.
- Love is adoring them for who they are, what they can do and what they can’t.
- Love is always being happy to see them.
- Love is unconditional. It is ohana–never getting left behind. Love is pure and thorough acceptance of where they are, who they are, and what they are doing. You don’t have to like their choices.
But love–true love–never ceases. ❤
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed. Logan’s previous column for Hilltown Families, Snakes and Snails: Teenage Boys Tales ran bi-monthly from June 2010-Feb. 2011, sharing stories of her first time around as a parent of two teenage boys. — Check out Hindsight Parenting: Raising Kids the Second Time Around every first and third Tuesday of the month.