automatic love

Most mornings, Middle is immovable.  I have to make numerous trips to his room to get him up.  With increasing volume, I insist that time is passing, school is necessary and the as-yet-undelineated consequences for non-action will be fierce.  In the meantime, he groans out some version of “Nooooo…I don’t want to go to school” every time I darken his door. 

This morning I tried a new approach.

“Middle, it is time to get up.”  Silence.  He sleeps.

I ruffle his hair.  “Middle, it is seven o’clock.” More silence. Is he even breathing?

“Middle," I kiss his cheek.  "I love you.”

Out of the silence. From beneath the covers. “I love you too.”

In the past, I have been known to insist that my boys’ love for me is an automatic love.  I would say they have no choice
but to love me, that there is no alternative to loving your mother when you are young.  And while I still think this is true, I have come to realize that my saying that has served to deny
and dismiss my own value to them. Perhaps worse, in diminishing their love I have done that love an injustice.  It is what they have to offer.  Who am I to diminish any form of love?  And besides, the older they get, the more say they will have in the matter of loving.

So today, I let it in, in all its automaticity. Img_2954_1



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