I was inside my fave Japanese store aimlessly combing the rows of shelves containing various knick-knacks when I witnessed an endearing scene between a mother and her young son (about three years old, as he was still bulol). I heard the boy kept asking his Mom, “do you love me?” And the mom would playfully quip, “Nope, if you disobey.” Then he would say, “Just love me. Do you love me? And the mom, would again tell him, “Yes, if you behave.” The boy was insistent, unmindful of the “conditions” set by his mother that he ought to be loved no matter what.
As I lingered about taking in the sweetness of the moment, I could not help but remember the time when my two sons, now aged 17 and 11, were just this boy’s age, and were oh-so clingy to their parents, as though nothing and no one else mattered. During those times when life revolved around Mom and Dad and the delights they were associated with—hugs and kisses, playtime and funtime, fulfilled whims—our sons, just like this boy whose endearing antics I witnessed, basked only in the warmth of parental love. Well, I felt like an indispensable superMom my kids could not live without.
I thought to myself, “Ahh… wait till you reach school age, little boy, and you get distracted by people and stuff outside of home. You might not even remember what you’re saying now.” Feeling guilty for “jumping ahead,” I tried to dismiss my cynicism and just reveled in the cuteness of the moment.
When I met my hubs and two sons after my costless meandering, I could not help but share with them what I witnessed. They seemed unaffected, though. Boys… Oh, well.
I was left to ruminate on this experience.
Love. What a sweet word. It has many faces – fraternal, filial, romantic. I made a post on THIS way back when I got hit by Cupid a few times (when I still used to view the world through rose-colored glasses). The kind of love that little boy asked his mother about is filial. It is a longing for protection, acceptance and great affection, like a bud that longs to be bathed in the warmth of the sun, like a leaf taking in dewdrops in the early morn.
If there’s one word that comes real close — it is this: cherish. “Do you cherish me?” That’s what the li’l boy meant. “even if I misbehave, or despite my shortcomings?”
The question hit a chord. I have asked it all too often, myself. If I had not been born again and experienced first-hand the love of God, whom I now call “Father,” I would have this question played over and over again in my head. Regardless of the circumstances I face now, I am truly confident of His love for me. And while I do not see Him with my naked eyes, I feel His love through the people He brought to my life, and through His unchanging, enduring word.
When someone told me I am cherished… as a friend… as someone special (not in the romantic sense of the word), I felt inexplicable joy. Girls (small and big ones, regardless of age) need to hear that word. It just brings warm thoughts… and feelings. I am human, after all— and a woman with a little girl’s heart, at that.
While I love my boys dearly, I sometimes wish I had a daughter so I can see for myself how her father would “cherish” her. And me.
Indeed, every woman desires to be cherished.