This is a follow up to a post that I made about unconditional love a couple of weeks ago.
Dr. Scott Peck wrote that once a child gets the feeling that she’s valuable, it can carry her through all of the vicissitudes (love that word) of life. That’s not to say that life won’t knock her around a few times, but rather that regardless of what happens, the person will eventually brush herself off and say something like, “That was awful. However, I’d be crazy to keep wallowing in it. I’m so moving on with my life.” On the other hand, a person who hasn’t received that feeling of “value,” the sure knowledge that she’s loved, will have a tougher go of it. That’s not to say that you can’t get that strength of character or security as an adult, just that it’s more difficult. By that time, the person has developed filters and defenses that prevent some of the good stuff from getting through.
Where am I going with this?? I was thinking of my little granddaughter Brooke and a conversation we had recently. She’s a doll, by the way. I love her curly hair, blue eyes, and stalwart character. That’s a strong word to describe a 4 year-old, but I think it fits. One day her mother was making the children complete some tasks around the house, and Brooke said, “I don’t like to work, but we have to do it.” She then walked (trudged) into her bedroom and began putting away her clothes. Yesterday, rather than color during church, she resolutely paid attention to the speakers because she thought it was important to try to learn something.
Back to the love story, the one that prompted this blog. Recently, I was visiting with Brooke and her family, and after I hugged her and then put her on my lap to get a good look at her precious face, I said something like, “Grandmama loves you so much.” She just sort of looked at me without changing expression, so I said, “You’re so special to me, and I just love you to pieces.” Here’s the clincher. She said, “Well, I already knowed that before you camed here. “ When I asked her how she knew it, Brooke said, “I don’t know how I knowed it. I just did.”
Overlook the creative way she uses past tense (child psychologists have a term for that), and think about the significance of what she said. Brooke feels love. She doesn’t have to be told over and over because she knows it; she feels it. What she feels and knows is the right of every child, not just my grandchildren but every child. I just can’t figure out why some parents don’t get this…or why they don’t care.