I love my kids. I try to show it daily through actions like cooking for them, coming up with arts and crafts projects to do with them, reorganizing their bedroom, hugging and kissing them constantly.
Those are my love languages: Doing for, Affection, Care taking
And it works – I know my kids know that I love them more than Kanye loves himself. They show it by reciprocating with constant hugs and kisses, calling my name when they get hurt and unfolding every single newly folded t-shirt in their dresser. (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they are confused about how to demonstrate their love in that area.)
So I am always intrigued (I mean this genuinely – like, in my cultural anthropology major way – not obnoxiously) when I watch them with their daddy. They wrestle, aggressively tickle, build block cities. My husband puts together their furniture, takes them on errands to buy tools, gladly makes unscheduled stops at any carnival they happen to pass by when he sees wide, excited eyes in the backseat. When he looks up The Shins on the computer and tells Carlitos that the singer is also in Broken Bells (Carlitos’ favorite band), Carlitos comes right over and nestles under my husband’s arm…then stays there as they start listening to a This American Life story on NPR about the Euro.
They bond on almost entirely different levels, in almost entirely different ways, with their daddy than they do with their mommy.
And they feel just as loved.
Carlitos asked his daddy if there was any left over Miso soup from dinner last night. When my husband said there was because he didn’t have any and got up to go warm it up for Carlitos, Carlitos leaned into me and said, “Daddy left me all of the soup last night because he knew that I love that soup and I might want it today for my afternoon snack.”
I smirked at my husband when Carlitos wasn’t looking, thinking he would think it was just as cute that Carlitos made up his own interpretation about why there was soup left. I am the center of the universe, says the child. Right?
Instead, his daddy quietly said, “You know me well, Carlitos.”
And I know he meant it.
It is almost unbearably wonderful to watch my husband and his sons speak love languages with each other that I often don’t understand. It is about them and between them and I don’t really have any role or any part in it.
But I love it… I love their love.