Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The "L" word
So here's the thing... I have two brothers; both of which were 100% boy (though they may argue that they're now actually men-HA!). When I was a little girl, I was knocked down, pushed around and verbally bitch-slapped on a daily basis. I learned, at a very early age, that "thick-skin" was a necessity and crying was for (pardon my French) pussies. I knew whatever THAT meant, it made me less of a man, and so I did my best to conceal any emotion, especially when it came to the icky "L" word.
When I think back to my childhood, I can't really recall ever saying "I love you" to my parents, nor do I remember hearing them say it to me, though I'm sure that they did. It wasn't until I was older... much older, and in a relationship that the "L" word reared its ugly head. As memory serves me, he said it first and I felt an enormous pressure to say it back (even though I knew I felt the same). I was so uncomfortable with the idea of exposing my heart, that I simply chose not to, and it would be many years and relationships later; via therapeutic couches, seminars and books, that I learned to let go of my biggest fear.
When my daughter was born, actually BEFORE she was born, I would have long conversations with her, which always ended the same way; by me telling her that we couldn't wait to meet her and how much we already loved her. By the time she came out of the oven, I felt like we were old pals. She smiled at me with those gigantic eyes and we both just knew that this was going to be a great life. If I had to guess, I'd say we use the "L" word at least 16 times a day (triple that number when she's not in school), and I feel confident that we are paving a positive path for any future relationships. Last week, she asked me if she could have some Pirate Booty (a/k/a kiddy crack). I responded, "Of course you can." She ran into the kitchen, arms flailing, and said, "I love you, Mommy!" <Eyes watering> I smiled at her with my heart and scooped her into my arms, "I love you, too, my little sweetheart!"