Saturday, May 20, 2006

The I Love You Phenomenon

Since we've been living in Jordan, I've noticed an interesting thing that people here do (okay I've noticed many interesting things, but I'm only going to talk about one of them today). When people meet a new lovely small child, they always seem to say I love you, say I love you. I find this fascinating. I don't tell small children I don't know or have just met I love them. Mostly, this is because the only children I've ever loved on first sight are my own. And, I spent 8.5 months getting to know them before I saw them. So, why, then, would I tell other children I love them when I don't. It almost seems like lying to them. I know that isn't the intent, but...

So, here we are with people constantly meeting my children and saying to them, "Say I love you Auntie." And, I don't know how to nicely say, don't ask my kids to express an emotion they don't feel. I don't want you to cheapen the meaning of the words for my children. I didn't wait 2 years to hear my child say I love you to me only to wonder if she really means it or is just being taught to say it nby all these people. Now, luckily, my children all said it prior to moving, but how much would I wonder if they hadn't? What is it with trying to get kids to tell you they love you? I'm sure it's a cultural thing and maybe 20 years from now, I'll be doing the same thing, but I seriously doubt it. I don't expect to be telling random children I love them. And I certainly don't expect to be asking them to tell me something I know isn't true. But, hey, that's just me...

Sanity.

2 Comments:

At 5:11 AM , Blogger Shelby Reynolds said...

This is such a great post that I think only someone who has experienced the same thing would understand the magnitude of. I have experienced the exact same thing during my family's time living in Bangkok! How on earth does one explain to a child that they don't need to tell every stranger or store employee or street vendor that they love them when the aforementioned person is so persistent?! I'm re-reading through parts of your blog and really enjoying it... thanks!!!

 
At 4:10 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Welcome Shelby and I'm glad you're enjoying the blog...

 

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