While Doug and I are working with our kids toward this gigantic goal of his English Channel swim, we never take our eye off our #1 project … loving them. Things aren’t always easy through the ups and downs of life, and believe me our waves are pretty rolling. I can, however, put it in perspective through this analogy … love is like water.
You want to give them enough to nourish them so that they’re not thirsty. Because what the nutritionists tell us is that once we feel thirsty it’s kind of late in the game. We should be handing out little sips all along.
And you don’t want to over water them. Because that means you’re hovering and run the risk of smothering and drowing them.
As our kids get older the line we walk becomes more fine and the decision about how much love to offer becomes unclear. Sometimes I give them too much independence and by the time they come around they’re a little needy. Sometimes I give them too much attention and by the time I realize that I’ve over watered them things get a little squishy.
A reoccuring story …
I hadn’t heard from Mack (23, living in CA, on his own, nice job) in a number of days, which isn’t unusual. He’s the kind of guy who likes to talk to you on his own time if he has some of it free. He called me on my cell …
Mack: “Mom, how ya doin? I have some free moments and thought we could talk for awhile.”
Mom: “Doug and I always say you’re kind of like a cat. We have to love you on your terms … in your own time.”
Mack: “Well, then, meow.”
We had a delightful conversation for 30 minutes … until he had to go.