Everlasting Memories Blog About Life, Loss and Everything In Between
I'm gonna love you forever
The first day of February - yay yay yay! So glad to push the month of January out the door and open my arms wide open to February. This month gives me hope for spring, longer days, warmer temps and all that great stuff. Kinda rejuvenates the soul, uplifts me a little bit, gets me excited for what lies ahead.
It is also the month of love. Hubba hubba! Hearts, flowers, chocolates, Titos, Valentine’s. A month, in particular a day, where we show in many different ways how much we love our family. Our friends. An admirer maybe. But how do we show the love? Well, I took it up on myself to ask peepers of all ages exactly that question. From our little gooses to our spouses and seasoned adults, the answers were sweet, poignant, some funny and very honest. And I thought what better way to spread the love than to share the love with all of you!
Show Me the Love
What I learned or refreshed my memory on is that there are two ways that we show love - demonstrative and undemonstrative. Age, upbringing, personality - all of those things play a part in which way we individually show the love and both ways of showing amore are equally valuable.
By definition, demonstrative means ‘a person tending to show feelings openly’. Also known as touchy feely. A hugger. A toucher. We show love demonstratively by reaching out and touching those we love. Giving them a squeeze. A smooch. Grabbing a hand when they walk by. Touching their shoulder as we reach for something. Endless ways in which we come into contact with those that we love to show them our love.
Forever and ever, amen
Importance of Demonstrative Love
I think we underestimate the power of human touch. Think about it. Some of our lowest lows have been made not so bad when we received the warm hug of a friend. Loneliness can be chased away by a hand reaching out to hold ours. We kiss our children’s boo boo’s to make them feel better. Scientific studies have even shown that a 20 second hug increases our oxytocin levels - giving oxytocin the nickname “the love hormone”. Fun fact - oxytocin is also said to be a natural antidepressant, anti-anxiety hormone and helps us bond socially. Wowie! I’ve got some hugging to do!
Demonstrative Love - Your Lips to My Ears
As I said I asked around and oh boy - we are totes showing the love! When asked “How do mommy and daddy show you we love you?” these were the responses word for word that I got. I happened to have ages for these ones and as you read, you’ll see why those ages are so appropriate. Good stuff.
“You hug us and kiss us every day.” Lilyana, Age 7
“You give us hugs and kisses every day and you’re nice to us.” Kellan, Age 5
“Hugs, kisses, they tuck me in, take me places, help me clean my room, wash my clothes, help me with things.” Maddie, Age 6
“Mommy always helps me with whatever I need. Plays with me and gives me lots of snuggles in the morning.” Theodore, Age 8
“Daddy shows love by working really hard.” Emma, Age 12
If you wonder how long I'll be faithful
And a few of my personal faves.
“Because you make my life a living h#$%.” Brendan, Age 15
“You don’t.” Stephanie, Age 19 (Steph's mom and I shared quite the laugh)
“You literally tell us who you love the most at any given time.” Michael, Age 23
I love this one and I think it’s importance is way undervalued. Undemonstrative love by my own definition is doing things for someone that we love behind the scenes. Meaning it’s not about the physical part of reaching out to grab a hand or hug - a lot of people don’t like that. It’s going out of our way to do something for someone we love, big or small, that has NOTHING to do with our own agenda.
Importance of Undemonstrative Love
Want my honest opinion? I think the lack of undemonstrative love, the lack of appreciating the undemonstrative love that we are shown is the root of why many marriages fail, why many relationships don’t last. What greater gift is there than to show someone that you love them by doing something for them that is meaningful? That shows that you are invested in their day to day life? Big or small, grand or not so grand - there is nothing that hits more close to my heart, makes me want to burst with all the love I’m carrying than when someone has gone out of their way to just do something nice for me - a ‘something’ that may seem silly to them but that they know matters to me. Read on.
I'll be happy to tell you again
Undemonstrative Love - Seeing is Believing
Our children, our spouses - they see a lot more than what you think. When asked the same as above “How do you mommy and daddy show we love you?” as well as “How do you know you are loved?” or some variation (you get the picture) this is what I got.
“I know my dad loves me when he lets me have a sucer.”
“I know my mom loves me when I help her lod the dish washr.”
“New footballs and protein shakes.” (I wonder which one of my goslings this is???)
And this one…yes, this is beautiful.
“Other ways he shows me he loves me are: planning date nights for us and even booking the sitter, cooking for our family (that takes the stress away from me) and maintaining our household without me asking him to do so. Most of all, Jared shows me love by just being him - genuinely caring about how my day is and ways to help eliminate family stress, always complimenting me even in my worst days…” Guys - be like Jared.
Love chez Hallie’s World
I’d like to think that I’m a pretty loving person. Some might even say I go a little overboard. I love to love and make people feel loved because that in turn makes me feel good. And I am uber demonstrative. I am constantly touching people on the arm, a tap on the shoulder, a sweaty hug, a kiss on the cheek, a personal space invader. Despite my goslings thinking it is very inappropriate, I would like to hope that them seeing their parents be affectionate with one another is something that will resonate with them in their futures.
And I know that a part of it has. My boy gooses, at 17 and 15, do you know they will still hold my hand in public? Hug me and kiss me in front of their friends and say “I love you mum.” And the same with their father. I am blessed that all three of our children have never thought themselves too cool to give their parents a hug in front of whomever. Whenever. One of the best gifts they’ve ever given to their father and I.
I'm gonna love you forever
And my Rob - it’s been a journey for us for sure! And learning about the undemonstrative has been a particularly arduous journey for both of us. And he does it beautifully. Things like turning the outside lights on when I get home because I hate driving up a dark driveway. Dishes stacked in the dishwasher. A gate for the back deck. Taking the lemon and the lime Trulys because I only like the grapefruit and the blood orange. Countless ways in which he shows me that he knows me. That he gets me. That he loves me.
There are so many ways in which we can show love. As adults, parents, caregivers, it is our responsibility to leave future generations with ways in which they can spread the love and squash the hate. Hug a friend. Snuggle with your child. Leave the lights on for your spouse and throw some burgers on the grill. Teach your children to never be too grown up to hold your hand, that there is beauty and security and love in those fingers intertwined. Do unto one another as you would have done unto you. Eat, breathe, live, BE the example of love.
Forever and ever....Amen.