A few weeks ago, over dinner, my sister told the four-year-old that he’s made of frogs, and snails, and puppy dog tails. Then, she told him that his sister is made of sugar, and spice, and everything nice. He thought about it for a minute before replying, “Auntie Rachy, don’t you know…we’re all made of love.”
All made of love. The kid sees through a nice lens. And this kid lives it.
For example, I was pushed just past my limit the other night.
I was with the frogs, and snails, and puppy dog tails (and love) kid, and the sugar, and spice, and everything nice (and love, too) kid. We were working on getting to bed.
The sugar, and spice, and everything nice kid was pretty much just spice at the time.
In an effort to maintain my composure, I took a breath and told the dynamic duo I needed a bit of a break. I’d been sitting on the edge of the little brother’s bed.
Before I could get up off the bed and exit the room (during the extended sigh I perpetuated), he crawled up and grabbed me for a big old bear hug.
He’s got and aptitude for hugging. We’re pretty lucky that all our kids are mighty huggers. It’s a very useful thing in the many moments of parenting growth I experience each day. That’s to say, I’ve got a lot to learn about consistently being the dad I am in my best parenting moments, and it’s nice to get great hugs from my kids along the way.
This time, the four-year-old held his hug for what seemed an eternity. Turns out, it was just enough time. Afterward, he gently pushed me back a smidge, and with his hands on my shoulders and a huge “I told you so” smile on his face he said, “See, daddy…that was love.” Love, indeed.
I felt better. The love offering fueled me. It was just the ‘bit of a break” I needed. I was able to re-enter the spice fray with just enough compassion to read, sing, and snuggle the precious angels to sleep.
A Wellbeing Extension: Just Share Love
Hugging isn’t alway the thing to do. Sometimes, when your wellbeing is challenged, when you’re not feeling quite yourself, when you’re having trouble matching decision-making to your core values, you’re not in a hugging situation.
You’re not always around people you’d feel comfortable hugging. Moreover (and possibly more importantly), you’re not always around people who’d feel comfortable hugging you.
Love, though…there’s alway a place for love, isn’t there? And love takes many forms.
For teachers and parents, when we’ve reached the end and have nothing left but love to share, that could mean listening to a kid read a book, or get excited over a piece of wiring or a drawing.
It could mean going for a walk. It could mean listening to music or playing a game.
For a friends, spouses, siblings, and even colleagues it could mean listening without judgement or even simply sitting in silence.
Sharing love could mean something different in each different situation where a love offering is the thing to do for mindfulness and enhanced wellbeing.
In the end, each of us is better off when we’re relaxed and content. The spaces we occupy together are enhanced with a foundation of clarity and connection.
It seems to me that the sharing of love, in whatever form works for all involved, can bridge the gap between frustration and clam. Maybe worth a try at the very least.
In it together for the kids.
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead. Thanks.