A Child’s Love

Jul 28, 2015

A Child's Love | www.nalumana.com I think my daughter knows love more than anyone else in our family.

And it’s not because she always sees it demonstrated by me, or her daddy. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the dog’s influence.

My little girl seems to love me through all of my fuck-ups. She holds steadfast, looking up at me with watery blue eyes, even after I have yelled at her, regretting the words as they leave my lips and yet powerless to stop, the aggravated language streaming out of me like so many hours and days of frustration charging forth past the dam of my parenting ideals. She makes me wonder, the instant I come unhinged, how she could possibly be the cause of my wrath.

And when I’m done, and I apologize for yelling, and I ask her if everything can be all right now, she just looks at me and nods and lets me hold her close, and minutes later is back to asking questions in her squeaky, ponderous voice.

When I am sick, or sad, vomiting or crying until my body shakes, she gently pats my cheeks and asks,

“Mommy, mommy, you okay?”

She, with only just three years to learn love and empathy, will hand me a Kleenex or a cough drop, and say,

“Mommy, I want to make you feel better.”

Once, when I was sunken deep into the couch, sad and tired and pregnant, she actually climbed the stairs, hand and knee, hand and knee, without a reassuring adult to brace herself against, and found the tattered yellow blanket from my childhood that I had given her. She dragged it downstairs and covered me up, knowing that it might shield me or warm me or comfort me in some way.

“Mommy, I love you.”

At some point, I suppose, as we age, or are hurt, or become world-weary, our love and many of our other emotions become conditional. Our partners annoy us when they are not us, and we pick away at the scabs of old wounds and frustrations just to make them bleed again. We wish we could change our loved ones – their snoring, their style, the way they love us.

We would all be more loving if we could see through imperfection the way a small child does.