by Jeanne Hambleton © 2007
NFA Leader Against Pain-Advocate
If you listen to the children singing their carols as we approach Christmas you will hear it is the season of goodwill to all men, women and especially fibromites. They may not say those words but I am sure they mean it.
It is a time when we exchange gifts – large and small – and may casually add “With love from…”
But we British can be a trifle reserved and tend not to be so free our ‘love’ when writing to someone. The Brits seem to reserve their love for family and close friends. Also we are not ‘touchy feely’ and fail to give someone a hug when it would do really so much good for the giver and the receiver.
But love means different things to different people. There is young love, the love of a newly wedded couple, mother’s love, grandmother’s love and the love, understanding and senior moments shared by those who have spent many years of their life together.
But have you ever thought just how young children interpret love? The following story came to me from another fibromite and at this joyous festive season, I wanted to share these innocent views of children between the ages of our and eight. These reponses were made to questions asked by a group of professional people. They claimed the answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. What do you think?
‘What does love mean?’
‘When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails any more. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’
Rebecca- age 8
‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’
Billy – age 4
‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’
Karl – age 5
‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’
Chrissy – age 6
‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’
Terri – age 4
‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’
Danny – age 7
‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss’
Emily – age 8
‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’
Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)
‘If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,’ Nikka – age 6 (We need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)
‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.’
Noelle – age 7
‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’
Tommy – age 6
‘During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.’
Cindy – age 8
‘My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’
Clare – age 6
‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’
‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.’
Chris – age 7
‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’
Mary Ann – age 4
‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’
Lauren – age 4
‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (what an image)
Karen – age 7
‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’
Jessica – age 8
And the final one – Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbour was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, ‘Nothing, I just helped him cry’