Saturday, April 16, 2011

I love you

My daughter and I have been blessed enough to have my nephew and her best friend, Damien, to stay with us for a month in NYC. Damien is 4 years old and a huge ball of love.
Leilani, my daughter, and him had been together since they were both in the womb. However, they separated last year in November when my daughter and I moved to NYC. My sister and I would talk over the phone about how much the kids missed one another and we agreed to have Damien come stay with us in NYC for a month.
So far in the first week that he has been here I have learned a lot more about my daughter. I have learned/ confirmed that she is a very territorial and jealous child. My nephew and his mother, my sister, tell each other that they love each other at every waking moment of their lives. Being that this is the first time that he has been away from his mother for a prolonged period of time I want to try and give him as much love and support that he needs and deserves.
Since he is use to telling his mother he loves her all day my nephew tells me a countless amount of times that he loves me. My daughter would stand by and watch and listen to this exchange of: "I love you." Finally my daughter tells me: "You don't like me anymore, only Damien." My first reaction was to laugh, however I realized that she was vocalizing this to me because it was how she felt and something she had been thinking about for a moment before she said it. I explained to my daughter that I loved both of them and that Damien misses his mommy and he needs to be cuddled and be told that he is loved just like any other human being. My daughter understood, either by choice or just to get me to stop talking.
Then later on that night I began to think: "Do I tell her I love her enough?" My daughter knows that shes loved, we call one another our best friends, ask each other if our outfits match and do everything together, but is that enough or as powerful as hearing :I love you?
I know that all parents and children alike are different but was it out of pure jealousy that she said that or was it out of " Mommy doesn't tell me that often she loves me so why is she doing it with him?"
I realized a few things when my daughter said the above statement to me.
  • I wasn't giving her enough attention
  • I possibly don't vocalize how much I love her enough
  • She doesn't like the idea of sharing me with another person, even if it is her best friend.
  • And she gets jealous quick.
  • I need to make more her and mommy time
Later on during the week at dinner. My daughter insisted that she wanted to sit in my lap and eat dinner with me. One plate, one chair but two forks. I found it silly and entertained her idea for a minute but soon told her it wouldn't work and she had to eat her own dinner in her own chair with her own plate. She agreed and then later on that night I layed in bed with her for a little while and told her how much I loved her. And at that very moment I realized I do tell her I love her. Both vocally and physically.

We have our own way of saying I love you with out always saying it and that perfectly okay :)