Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Love of Children

Nothing demonstrates real love for another person as the love of a child for his/her sibling. I can see it in my kiddos eyes everyday, and it makes me take the time to think: when is it we lose the ability to love someone in that capacity?

Caleb and Marlee's love for each other is so firm and so real. The way she looks at him in adoration and the way he looks at her in amazement. I always stand back in awe of the way these two have made their love for each other so transparent and powerful. The love of a child is like none other. 

Caleb never had a problem with welcoming Marlee into the family. Even the first time he laid eyes on her, and "held" her for the first time, that love was apparent and visible in his eyes and his actions. He wore it on his sleeve and in his smile. He always accepted that she was his "sissy" and the love developed right from the start. His eyes still light up when seeing her and playing with her.

Even before having the ability to smile and that first cute laugh, Marlee had always been drawn to Caleb. She spent long moments just staring at him, and studying him. She never smiled as big or laughed as hard for anyone else. Just her "bubby" and her best friend. Perhaps it's a little of being her brother and a little being the one to copy and learn from as her skills develop and she grows in leaps and bounds in her first few years. Regardless, her smile, her giggle, her waving of hands and squeals of delight say it all. She loves her brother with a love that is incomprehensible.

Now that Caleb is  3 and Marlee  a year, the bond has grown stronger than imagineable. She would follow him right off a cliff if he said "Come on sissy". Caleb would hit, or scream at, or headbutt anyone whom he considers a threat to her. Thus creating  humor in childhood love. They would follow each other to the ends of the world and back (if Caleb's trike would carry them there).

She cries and he asks, "What's wrong with Marlee? Is she sad?". We tell him that she is indeed sad and he proceeds to tell us "Fix her!". Marlee on the other hand will more often laugh at Caleb's misfortune, unless real urgency is detected, at which point she becomes scared and cries along. They know each other's feelings with a certainty that I cannot figure out. Sure, I know their feelings as well, but this is a real deep understanding they have with each other. Such an incredible idea to ponder. And I have, many times, with the same conclusion: I lost the ability to have that same understanding.

So when is it that we lose the ability to love like this; To not hesitate and not question, just let it be? When, down the line of growing up do we become so desensitized that we can love, but love so shallow?  I can always hope and pray that these two will never lose focus and understanding of this love. The love of a child for another. Uncomplicated, unrestrained, unequivically matched by any other emotion.

Image: Sand heart and ocean by Petr Kratochvil

1 comment:

KLZ said...

I feel like I still love my sister like that. But I've known her since she was BORN. I think maybe that's the difference. She's always been there - I've seen her...everything. Her hurt, her love, her laugh, her anger. I've seen all sides of her.

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