Gentle Parenting · motherhood

Learning Love

Starting this blog has given me to opportunity for quiet reflection on my children, myself and my roles as a woman, mother and wife. Since being on maternity leave (plus a couple extra work-at-home weeks – more on that in another post), I have had plenty of time to closely observe my daughter and new son in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise during the rush of wake up-go to work-make dinner-bed time routines.

It wasn’t until my son was born that I noticed something about my daughter – she is ever-so observant. In fact, she can be observant to the point of obnoxiousness, but that’s another issue altogether. For this post, I’m focusing on the so-sweet part of her observational skills. You’re sure to have heard this before, but children are like sponges. I don’t think I fully understood this in its full capacity until Bud came along.

Ever since we introduced our children in the hospital, my SweetPea has been utterly smitten with her little brother. I mean, if I didn’t know about my daughter’s current obsession with YouTube surprise egg videos, I would say that she is most definitely obsessed with her brother (but, well, YouTube is winning this race right now, whoops). Back to the point of this post though – I’ve taken notice of the exact language that my daughter uses when speaking to her baby brother and about him.

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It is gentle. It is engaging. It is totally and completely filled with love and adoration.

It is an imitation of the things that I tell my SweetPea every single day.

“Mommy, I just love him.”

“Oh, SweetPea, I just love you.”

“Oh, look at those big, bright eyes. I love you.” [insert little kisses all over a soft baby head]

“SweetPea, let me see those big, brown eyes. I love you.” [insert kisses all over her sweet, sweet face]

These words, so sweet and pure from my daughter’s mouth to her brother’s tiny ear, are ones that I tell her multiple times a day. It never occurred to me that she was observing, listening and absorbing my words of love and adoration. It never occurred to me that she would one day transfer this loving language to someone whom she loves to no end.

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These are the moments that make me think, “Wow, I’m doing something right.”

You know when you read those articles about teaching your children to be inclusive and fair and loving – those ones that may (or may not) make you feel as if you should be doing something more to teach your children right from wrong, self acceptance, acceptance of others, and love over hate? They are wrong.

You, dear mama, do not need to do much extra to teach your children love. They already know it. They know it from your words. They know it from the way that you will hold their hand every single time they reach out for yours. They know it from you. Just you.

And you, sweet mama, are doing just fine.

Are you ever surprised by your children and what they pick up on? Tell me your stories in the comments!

{Remember to subscribe to the SweetPea & Bud blog for updates}

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