Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Public Displays of Affection

A mother is not supposed to love one child more than another. To say or think such a thing just sounds, well, unmotherly. A different love might be expected, yet not a greater or lesser portion.

But what about a child loving a mother less?

This winter has forced the children and me inside for longer stretches than any of us finds thrilling. In fact, the three of them interacting with each other and with me has been an exercise in testing my sanity and patience, for sure. But, it's also shown me how different the twins interact with me than did their older brother at the same age.

I never understood before how different twins are from a single-born child. They play well with each other, look out for each other, understand each other, share way too much with each other. It's amazing how the older they grow, the closer knit they become.

And I wonder if since they have each other to love and love them in return so completely, do they really love me less than my firstborn or any other single-born child would? Or maybe it has to do with me having to split my attention three ways instead of one.

I don't know the answer. Yet, any way you add it up, they don't demonstrate their love to me as much as my first...and we're a pretty demonstrative family.

Wyatt still clings to my arms, legs, waist, covering my cheeks with dozens of kisses in a row while "I love you, mommy" rolls easily off his tongue. He reaches up, unprompted to place his hand in mine as we walk through the mall. He comes and sits in my lap, wrapping arms around my neck and just pausing there for a long moment.

I can almost feel my heart warming and beating slower as we read books together and I enjoy the comfort of my cheek against the top of his head.

The twins are a different story. Sure, they're half his age and are understandably less able to verbalize their emotions, but I wonder if they'll ever be this demonstrative with their love.

Right now, my hugs from them are pretty much confined to times when someone is physically or emotionally injured, and "I love you's" are always prompted or parroted back. Snuggles are short-lived and (usually) are the result of jealousy because someone else wanted mommy's lap.

As a mother, I spend much of my days pouring myself into those three little vessels, striving to show them what real love is by being a Christlike servant for my family, all the while growing to love them more, myself, with each passing season.

If they only knew how much any little demonstration of that love uplifts their mama after a day in the trenches.

Tomorrow, I'll start again, striving once more to show all three of them how to love and be loved...and hope the twins catch on before the day when public displays of affection aren't cool anymore.

1 comment:

  1. It is hard when you want to love on them and they aren't interested. I have one "snuggler" and one that very rarely shows any affection. They're as different as night and day. It's always a challenge to make sure they BOTH know how much I love them, and that I don't play favorites. I'm sure your twins know you love them and in time they will let you know how much they love and appreciate you. I think it's awesome that you see each new days as an opportunity to demonstrate God's love for them. Keep up the good work!