Friday, November 17, 2006

Totem

I apologize in advance for the schmaltz. Wait, no I don't. I warn in advance of the schmaltz. Having children has done this to me - they have turned me from a woman who throws away greeting cards moments after receipt into a weeping mess of schmaltz. And for that, I am both grateful and disturbed. A few weeks ago, I was driving in the car with my children. I told them that I loved them. Five minutes later, I did it again. And then again another three minutes after that. My son was annoyed. "Why do you keep saying that? I know you love me. You don't have to say it all the time." I laughed and told him that moms just do that, that we can't help ourselves. I've been letting that conversation percolate for a while now, wondering why I do feel compelled to tell my children that I love them so often - too often really. (Although perhaps too often is just a myth. Perhaps there is never a too often when it comes to this.) Is it really because I love them that much? I do, but I don't think that's it. I think it's a verbal talisman. I think that in the primal-fire-dancing region of my brain, I'm protecting them from ever feeling unloved or unwanted or uncherished or unalive. I'm making love into their totem, I suppose. And why not? We name our children after great people or give them names with great meaning: Victor, Faith, Christian, Ming, etc. That's as much magical thinking as my love chant, I suppose. So I just keep repeating myself in the hopes that on some bad night in the future, my children will know that I love them. And I hope that it will be enough.

3 comments:

Laura said...

LOVE your totem idea. I tell the girls that I love them all the time too. Great blog!! I'll be visiting often! :)

Lisa said...

I'm constantly telling J I love him. Most times he'll say he loves me too, but sometimes he just ignores me until I've said it enough to irritate him, and then he says, "WHAT?!"

Yay for a blog!

Susan said...

I love your post. You have a gift for expressing things that I often think, but can't articulate.