This I Believe

mary - houston, Texas
Entered on July 30, 2008
Age Group: 65+

This I believe…

My father died when I was 5 years old and my mother assumed the role of mother and father. Our relationship grew more fully because of this. Her love was unconditional even if her rules were rigid and through this relationship I learned the lesson that I believe in today….that you can never give a child too much love.

True, you can give a child too much freedom. You can neglect to set boundaries that will protect his health and safety. You can allow him to wander too far and perhaps result in an accident. You can be too busy to oversee companions and this may evolve into improper activities. You can forget to check on playtime which can result in injuries. Too much freedom comes with a huge price.

You can give a child too many gifts. Too often a child opens gift after gift just to get to the next one and they are all forgotten just as quickly. A friend told me that when he grew up in a very poor family of 5 children that only one child received a gift at Christmas. The others received fruit and shared in the joy of the child whose turn it was. Paul chose a violin the year it was his turn and after all had shared in the excitement of opening the gift Paul put it aside while they ate dinner. A brother accidentally fell on it, crushing it, but Paul said that he doesn’t remember that part at all; he only remembers that each person made him a handmade gift to replace the violin.

But, back to what I believe…In my experience as a child, a mother and a grandmother, I truly believe that you can never give a child too much love. Sharing love

with children has the wonderful result that they share it in return. Children respond so naturally to love and they display their own love in such a gentle, simple, natural manner. Love makes children feel self-assured and helps them become more rounded individuals. Love creates room for children to grow, mature, develop, and learn. Without love, a child withers; he becomes self-centered and does not feel self-confident. Love provides the GPS so that the child will not get lost on the way. You can never give too much love because when it is given freely, passionately and naturally it does not have the baggage of guilt, debt or doubt. The gift of love can be a simple “I love you” accompanied with a hug or time spent in activities that both enjoy. Making a peanut butter sandwich together can be an exercise in love. Time shared is probably the best demonstration of love and because time is finite, it is what is remembered most.

What I remember best of my mother is time spent reading a book together or sitting on the porch glider while she stroked my hair. I always knew that she was my #1 fan and would love me no matter what direction life led me. My own children call each day with a reminder that I am loved and when my daughter and her 3 boys leave my house I hear a loud “I love you” as they drive away. This is how I know I am right…you can never give a child too much love and….this I believe.