Feel The Love

When Little Miss Sunshine is feeling lonely, or tired, or hungry, or bored, she wants cuddles. She needs to be held, hugged, kissed, snuggled. When my lap is already full of a laptop or potatoes I’m peeling for dinner, it can get a little challenging. But if I need to make the Little Miss feel better, I need only pull her into my arms and smother her with kisses.

When Gal Smiley needs a show of love, she wants to do something with me. Doing an activity together makes her feel included, part of a club, an insider. She’s not into physical affection – kisses are out of the question and small, quick hugs are barely tolerated. But if you’re too busy for a game, or if you’re working on something that she can’t help with – that’s rejection. She’s our social girl, and you need to show her you love her by spending time with her.

When Captain Jelly Belly has had a hard day, he needs to be pampered. An upset Captain needs to be gently led to the couch and wrapped in a blanket. He needs someone to bring him a hot chocolate and a snack, fetch him his favourite stuffed animal, maybe rub down his back. If you ask him to do chores around the house, it’s akin to telling him you don’t love him – how could you possibly expect him to make his own bed? Don’t you CARE ANYMORE? It’s a challenge to find a good balance, but if the Captain really needs to feel loved, you only need to wait on him a bit.

I wonder if these will be their behaviour patterns their whole lives. Will the Little Miss always need to be touched to feel loved? Will Gal Smiley only be happy with friends who invite her to every event and activity? Will the Captain require a wife who is willing to pick up his socks and make him dinner every night (extremely likely, and my deep apologies in advance to the future Mrs. Captain)?

These are the kinds of things that make parents feel that they, and only they, will ever truly know and understand their kids. Will I always know them better than they know themselves? Or will they change someday, and suddenly I’ll find everything I thought I knew is no longer true…leaving me on the outside, looking fruitlessly for cuddles and inclusion and pampering?

I can’t even tell you what makes my own self feel loved. I should ask my mother, or Sir Monkeypants. I know it isn’t any of these – I’m not a cuddly person by a long shot, I value my time alone, being served makes me feel antsy and fake. But I’m learning to give my children what they need, and to find my own comfort in that.

My three little ones have taught me how to make them feel loved. And that makes me feel loved, in return.

8 thoughts on “Feel The Love

  1. I’ve posted about The Five Love Languages a few times, but you’ve hit upon the topic perfectly, so I’ll reiterate.

    All of us feel loved in a mix of 5 ways:

    -Physical affection
    -Doing stuff for me
    -Spending time with me

    Clearly, Little Miss’s love language is Physical Affection, Gal’s is Spending Time and Captain’s is Doing Things For Me.

    Mine is Words followed by Doing Stuff For Me.

    Now everyone has a different mix. Usually we all get something out of all of these languages; some are just more effective than others.

    Learning the love language of the people you care about is the best way to make them know you love them. You’re totally on that track.

    If you’re curious to understand your own love language, you can check out the book on the subject. It could be you’re a balanced mix, which makes it tough to identify.

  2. It’s funny how different everyone is in terms of what they want to feel loved and appreciated. I’m a sucker for compliments and verbal expressions of love. (ie. My good friend Travis leaves me phone message saying that he misses me and loves me. It’s very nice!)

  3. Beautiful post Lynn. My M is exactly like Gal Smiley and I am glad you wrote about her. I have occasionally told people that M doesn’t like to be hugged or kissed, it makes him uncomfortable. The response I get is usually sympathy followed by a slightly suspicious look that makes me feel like a bad mom because my boy won’t let me snuggle with him at bed time :(. It’s good to know he isn’t the only one.

  4. Aw, that’s one of the many things that makes you such an awesome mom. I think you’re right – these are traits that will stick with them through the long haul, whether they know it or not. Laura is definately a snuggler and has been since birth, Owen – more of a spend time with me guy.
    LOL- did a post of the same title today but completly differnt meaning.

  5. what a lovely post. my first reflection was how their love languages (love that flamethrowa!) seem to really fit their birth orders.

    i think i’m words and physical.

  6. So sweet. Your love for your kids shows through in every single post (and why shouldn’t it?) which makes them a delight to read.

    Our monkey’s need for love is mainly activity-based, too. If you can tackle him and chase him around, he feels the love. But if you hold on for too long, it becomes a hug and that’s no good when he’s in the mood to be the centre of attention.

    He’s cool, though. He knows that his mom and dad love the physical affection, so he’s willing to give us the big hugs and smooches when he knows it’s our time to feel the love, too. 😀

  7. Abby likes to hug and hold hands and such, but Maya has specific days said aside for things like hugs and kisses. Sunday is a kissie day. She’s only five and doesn’t have a firm grasp of the calender yet, so I try and confuse her as to which day of the week. My success rate is low since she’s starting putting events together with days of the week. For example we go to church on Sunday and if I’m trying to convince her Monday is really Sunday and she realizes we didn’t go to church, that’s the end of that. Even after the car accident when we all wanted to hug her and never let her go she tolerated us for about 5 minutes then she was just annoyed.

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