mercredi, septembre 27, 2006

Love's mystery

Last night, as I was cleaning up the dinner dishes left over from our applesauce and broccoli binge (we girls like to eat weird stuff when we don't have fellows around), Sian came into the kitchen. We had returned from the library about 20 minutes or so before that, and it was rapidly getting towards bedtime. Water dripping from her brown hair, blue eyes determined, she sat down at the kitchen table. Before she jumped into the task at hand, she warned me not to laugh at her. One thing I have learned from being a mother is that whether the questions are large, random, or just moderately off the wall to an adult, kids just hate being laughed at...wouldn't you? I put down the plates, dried my hands, and walked over to her chair. "Mom, why do you love me?" she asked. Stunned, I looked at my eleven year old daughter as though she had just taken up an endowed chair in the philosophy department of some major educational institution . Do you mean why do I love or you or what makes you lovable? I stammered. "I've always loved you." You mean that you love me beause you are supposed to? she asked with a little apparent disappointment. Wondering if I could say something that would illuminate the alchemy of a parent's attachment, I babbled about having loved her from the moment she was born, and all of the ways in which that love manifests itself in protection, hope, pride and discipline. I'm not sure I came any closer to analyzing the roots of love. I'll have to ask Sian if she got anything from our conversation. Returning to her room later to wish her good night, I told her that part of the reason I know how to love her was because my parents had taught me how to be loving. "Sleepily she lifted her lovely eyes to my face and asked: "Does that mean you are teaching me?" With a mixture of terror, honesty and desire, I answered "Yes. I hope so."

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