Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Don’t give up on me. Andy Grammer’s song resonate in my heart at many different levels. I was very fortunate to grow up with parents who sheltered me with all their love and allow me to grow up without much doubt of their love for me. When I am an adult, I experienced God’s promise that He will never give up on me, no matter what. The power of that knowledge changed my life. While they will have their own journey of faith, I want them to have the power knowing my love for them will never change either, no matter what. So, I developed a little "ritual". It has made my relationship with my kids magical.
Our rite is very simple. It goes as follow:
Me: “who is my favorite son/daughter?”
My Children: “ME!”
Me: “will that ever change?”
My Children “NO!”
Me: “Could anything change that?”
My Children: “NO!”
Then I give them a pat and a hug to let them know that they got the right answers. I will do this at least a couple of times a month. Surprisingly, they always answered with enthusiasm.
We had our third child two years ago. Last year, my oldest son, an eight-year-old then, came to me and said "I used to be your favorite son. But now with Alden, I am your favorite boy. Alden and I are equal, but he is a baby and younger and needs more care.”
There is no concern or fear that my love for him would be affected by the presence of a younger sibling.
One time, as I was writing the books, my daughter played with the 15kg, one and a half year old younger brother in his crib. Suddenly, I heard her shouting, “Ouch, ouch!” and she started crying. She sounded really in pain. I jumped up and ran to see what happened. She was lying in the crib with Alden standing on one foot like a flamingo on her chest. I immediately lifted Alden off her chest. She was still crying. I asked her why she did not roll away or move Alden off of her. “I didn’t want to hurt him by accident,” she replied. I choked up. Of course, the conversation was immediately followed by praising her selfless sacrifice and the way she could try to avoid pain the next time.
Fear is minimized when love is assured. This little "rite" helped build their confident in my love for them. That confident also help them to be more courageous in trying new things. It helps them to open up to me more easily when they face challenges and concerns. The rite also help to remind me that my love for them is not performance-based but unconditional.
I am grateful and proud that my children have such good and caring hearts. I am not bragging, or may be I am. But they are truly magical. :)