It took about 8 years for Matthew to grasp the concept of giving and receiving kisses. It has been fun to experience over the past few years his attempts at giving and receiving some form of affection. He pretty much is settled into the routine at bedtime after his final tube feeding you can say kiss-kiss and he will grab the back of your head and pull you in to his forehead. I have written about his road to affection a few months back in What’s in a kiss… . We cherish every moment that he wants to just sit on our lap, which at anytime could turn into a rare moment of a kissing marathon, where he will repeatedly will pucker up and lean in.
I wanted to write about the act of showing affection as I was reminded of how powerful it is…not only to the recipients (especially for my wife, Theresa), but also how important it is that our kids see a healthy showing of what affection is. Theresa will be the first to nod her head in approval of me saying that I forget the small things like a gentle, meaningful touch or an unsolicited hug. I just am not a “touchy, feely” kind of guy…but that is not an excuse to not work on that area of my life.
“You accuse a woman of wavering affections, but don’t blame her; she is just looking for a consistent man.” Johann Wofgang von Goethe
Ouch…than one hurt Johann. About as much as the comment that our two year old Sarah Anne made the other day when Theresa and I were giving each other exaggerated hugs. With every hug her laughter was louder. I then gave Theresa a peck on the lips…Sarah Anne’s reaction: smile gone, shaking of the head no and these words: “No Daddy go to work.” Is the lack of affection other than the obligatory peck on the cheek before leaving the house that apparent to the women in my household? I work hard to provide for their needs, pray for them constantly, think about them all the time and love them beyond words can say…but do I show it, do I say it?
“To touch can be to give life.” Michelangelo
My goal, and not just for this week, is to not only think about how much my wife and kids mean to me, but to also learn how to say and show that love to them…This will be a hard one for me!
Now, if you will excuse me…I need to go have a talk with Matthew, to pick his brain on how he was able to gain a foothold on this subject. Maybe he will be able to give me some pointers.
Many have asked if it is okay to share this blog about our Lessons from Matthew…not only is okay, but we emphatically ask that you would. We welcome any chance to show how good God is and how he is working through the power of prayer.