It sounds like the beginning of a joke but it’s one of the things I love about this multi-cultural area I live in.
Kiki was trying to share her sucked, soggy, cardboard cracker with the dark haired, slightly older lady behind us and with her simply pretending to share the slobbery treat with my girl, we sparked a most thought provoking conversation.
You see, she was a mama to a couple of those mystical creatures…..teenage boys.
I asked her if they were as the legend tells – uncommunicative, monosyllabic and mysterious?
‘Not my boys. I wouldn’t let them’.
She explained that although they do spend more time in their rooms, being smelly and probably sending themselves blind, but she ensures that every evening they talk about their day and she listens to their interests, even if she doesn’t share them, and at the end of the chat, they hug and she tells them she loves them.
And they respond in kind.
Because that’s how she grew up in her big Italian family.
The thick accented Serbian lady who was scanning my groceries was listening to our exchange and apologised for piping in before saying –
‘You don’t tell ‘I love you’, you show it.’
Interesting……… I love a check-out debate.
She went on to explain in her culture, talking about ‘the love’ is not the done thing. You just show it.
I’ve always been showered with the words, so this thought is foreign to me.
We went on to talk about how all three of us were making sure our children knew how much we loved them. How we were expressing our love differently to our family, or partner’s family, and breaking the love barrier in order to give our children something that we/they did not.
The Serbian lady said that she tries to say it because she laments not hearing it more from her mother, although she always knew that her Mother cared for her.
When Mister H and I were first dating the subject of saying ‘I love you’ came up. I don’t think we were actually saying it to each other yet, but this conversation was probably me fishing – can’t remember clearly……what I can remember was him saying that in his experience ‘I love you’ is not something said between family members, it was something for lovers.
I was shocked. Who made up that crazy rule?
I’m a super expressive person.
I fling I love yous around like high kicks at the Moulin Rouge.
I say it to my buddies when I hang up the phone….if I talk to them more than once in any given day, they’ll cop it a couple of times. It’s just something I do….not so much at the gynaecologists, but you know what I mean.
Does it cheapen it, if it’s said regularly? Can you wear it out?
I never get sick of hearing someone say I love you.
They don’t need to be gazing into my eyes and ensuring the sentiment goes straight to the very core of my being. Not every I love you is like that. They can be flippant, disposable ones too.
I. Love. You.
I love you.
I tell my children all the time.
When they’re being silly I say it in a robot voice. When they’re asleep I whisper it in their perfect shell ears. I tell them how special they are and that I will love them unconditionally…..they don’t even know what that means yet, but I do.
I used to say it all the time to my boyfriend, but now that he’s my husband I think perhaps I don’t say it as often. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel it, I just forget, I guess. That’s a bit shitty.
I always try to say it last thing at night, so it softly shrouds him in his sleep.
Of course, I show my family I love them all the time.
If they look hard enough they could see it in all the friggen’ folds of washing, and the wiping of their stinky butts and snotty noses. I couldn’t do that if I didn’t love them.
In all fairness, Mister H takes care of his own butt and nose, but I show him in other ways.
I think saying it, impressing it into and onto them, is important.
It’s a bloody jungle out there, and sometimes the most comforting thing in the world is when a dear one says ‘I love you’.
It can give me strength. It can give me courage.
It’s like a safe, warm place created by three simple syllables.
And, Lord knows, this crazy world, so full of harsh and ugly words, needs more safe places.