Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 28 - Unconditional love.

Before I go on to the subject of the day - please read my story "The Connoisseur" published on Women's Web.  It is a short story, less than 500 words long, written entirely in dialogue.  Comments welcome!

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We know that we love our children unconditionally.  For us, it is as much of a no-brainer as is the fact that we do love them.  But, unfortunately, our actions and words don't always reflect it.

I'm not sure if I've written about this before, but this was brought home to me once when Puttachi was about 2 or 3 years old.  We were cuddling, and I just asked her a rhetoric question, "Why does Amma love Puttachi?"
She immediately replied, "Because I am a good girl."
I was aghast.  I said something like, "No Puttachi, I love you because you are you.  You are my daughter, and I love you.  Whether you do bad things or naughty things or good things, I'll love you anyway."

After a few months, in which I repeated this a couple of times,  I asked  her the same question, and then she said, "You love me because I'm your baaaaby!"   And when I'm upset with her about something, she asks me softly, "Are you angry?  Are you upset?  But I know, you love me anyway."

This is what I want for her.  But I also want to be able to show her my unconditional love without using words, just by actions.  But how?

That way,  my parents never ever told us that they loved us. But we knew anyway.  They are really chilled out parents - they accepted with equanimity everything that we did, or did not do.  I have never experienced fear or hesitation telling them about any of my misdeeds.  It is to this that I attribute the total security I feel about facing life.  I know that whatever happens, I can turn to them and they will just accept me for what I am, no questions asked.   It is this feeling of security that I want to give Puttachi too.

But I'm not sure how to do it with actions.  I try, but anyway, I use words too. That's a very western concept - saying it out in words, isn't it?   It doesn't come too naturally,  saying, "I love you, no matter what."  (It gets easier with repetition :))    Anyway, I do it because Puttachi must realize that we love her unconditionally.  We might be upset or angry or disappointed with her, but we'll love her anyway.  She should know it because I firmly believe that a secure atmosphere at home, where the child feels completely and unconditionally loved, is a must if the child should spring forth into the world with joy and confidence.

Your thoughts?

6 comments:

Anu said...

Shru, You don't really have to show it by any special acts or deeds or words. You are a good mum and she will perceive it - that you love her, no matter what.

archonline said...

oh yes.. the previous generation were good at actions.. But still, though I know about the love, there were times we were reluctant to blurt out everything.. so in this generation I feel words and discussing more is okay to clarify and to give no room for "how will amma think" "what she will say" etc kind of thoughts..

Radhika said...

Through words but stories :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Shruthi,

Even I think what I tell my daughter is not enough to make her feel that I love her no matter what. Kids these days go by verbal confirmation and by physical display that make them feel that they matter to us the most.

My daughter loses her stationery everyday in school. Someone flicks it or she forgets to put it in her pencil box after the classes. I tell her that she should be more responsible and all her stuff is like her baby and that she should take care of it. But my daughter seems to be confused. She asks me "You tell me you love me and then you also scold me and get angry when I do something you don't like. How can you love and be angry at the same time." I really don't know what to say?

-Rashmi

chitra said...

Shruthi,

I agree with you and I keep telling my son that I would love him no matter what. He is also confident that I am there for him.

Other day, I had talked about this in fb where it is the mother who should boycott her son if he is a rapist. and I squarely blame wife/sister/mother who continue to support.

the question is whether would we be able to draw a line if we are emotionally soattached. Or can we all be "Mother Inda".

Sudharma said...

You are the good mother and she is lucky to have you as mother

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