Monday, December 6, 2010

Love

Today, I blow dried a Kitty.
Not a real kitty, my son’s stuffed Kitty. But I blow dried it none the less.
While making dinner, my son was helping to set the table, and when he opened the drawer where we keep the place mats, he dropped his kitty into our real cat’s water bowl.
He froze, moaned and then looked at me. He seemed so desperate. He just had this stare as if to say, ‘HELP!’.
I scooted over to him, took Kitty and shook him off over the sink. Then I squeezed his paws into a clean dish towel.
To me, that was not enough for poor Kitty. He was hurt, he fell and he was all wet and dirty.
So Mommy said that Kitty needed some more help. We cradled Kitty in the dish towel and took him to the bathroom and laid him on the counter. As I proceeded to pull out the blow dryer from underneath the sink, my son’s eyes got really big and he said, ‘Oh no! What are you going to do?!’.
I shook my head and said, ‘Well…his paws are still pretty wet…we’re going to have to blow dry him’. I diligently rubbed and blew dry all four of Kitty’s paws. 

In five minutes, Kitty was dry. My son had giggled the whole time, I even laughed a little. I then handed Kitty over to him; they were off and running as if it had never happened.
It was both tragic but cute. Kitty is so important to my son. He takes Kitty everywhere;  to breakfast, to watch a movie and takes Kitty to his Dad’s. When you have an attachment like that to something, it’s scary and sad for a little kid to think of something bad happening to it, and worse, something bad happening to it and someone not understanding how much it means to you to make it all better and save it.
I wanted to make it somewhat of a big deal that Kitty fell in the water and needed blow drying, because I think it showed my son that I cared for Kitty just as much as he did. I wanted him to see that I understood.
As a parent, some things may not seem as trivial to us, as they are to our children. And they may happen at such inconvenient times. But we need to look at things through their eyes. If we consider it from their point of view we are better able to relate to them. In the end they feel validated; i.e., Loved.
Over the years, I have very carefully and patiently hand washed hazelnut coffee off of a non-machine-washable stuffed Lamby and sewn her smile back on twice. I have sewn and re-sewn and patched, Soft Blankie. I have, time and again, trimmed and tied into knots Blue and Yellow from fraying.
I have also, at eight months pregnant, gone to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night to replace a two-day-old-goldfish for my three year old, just so in the morning, she would not cry.
The things we do for someone when we love them is just amazing, and it's not just parents who will go out of their way for a loved one.
When we really truly love someone, we will go to the ends of the earth to protect them from being hurt or to help them feel better. Equally, we will go to great lengths to prove we understand them and feel for them.
Having empathy and compassion is a major component in love.
It's also the motivating factor behind how far we will go to save our loved one from pain.

Understanding how someone feels, i.e., validating them, preserves their emotional well-being, which is essential to them feeling loved and have the ability to trust.
I understood how my son felt, and I was able to go the extra mile help him feel like I really loved him, and his Kitty. In the end he feels very special and trusts that I understand and love him, all because I blow dried his Kitty.

Now  if Kitty fell in the toilet, my son and I would have to have a talk….but he didn't, he just got a little wet.....thank goodness.

Kitty feels better now that he's dry....so does my son:)
Amber

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