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learning love

12 May 2013

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Do you ever think about where you learned about love? When I met my husband almost 9 years ago, my life lessons on relationships became so starkly clear. Until I met him, my longest, closest relationship with a male was with my grandfather whom my mum and I also shared a home with for 6 years. I have the fondest memories of searching through his National Geographic magazines for school assignments, finding him in his rocking chair half-asleep stroking my cat, the clicking of his typewriter, his granny smith apple at every lunch, picking me up from after school sport, trips to the library together to get piles of books, buying me my first computer and insisting I learn to type properly before doing anything else on it (a lifetime skill, thanks Gramps), reminding me not to have long showers and to eat all my food for there are starving children in Africa. He is a strong male influence on my childhood and I’m forever grateful for his never ending support of me and my endeavours. He has been a rock throughout our lives. But he was never an openly emotional man – his difficult childhood left him unable to express himself about matters of the heart or to relax into physical contact. Over the past 8 years he has blossomed and now reaches for cuddles and it aches in my heart with joy to see him grow like this as a person.

When I met my husband and became a part of his family instantly, for the first time I was able to view a husband and wife relationship up close – that of my in-laws. It is  probably no coincidence that one of my favourite things is to see a man show affection to his lady and see the long-term commitment. Every time I see my father-in-law touch my mother-in-law I smile to myself. The same warmth fills me when I see my mum and her husband hug. In my own husband I found someone who adores me totally and openly too, and my insecurities about a man not really ever loving me fell away. As we started our life journey together I realised something that reminded me of the book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” (first published circa 1988 and indeed a copy was in our home at one point)…

It was my adorable mum that taught me much about a functional, strong, affectionate and honest relationship – total unconditional love, compromise, treating each other as equals, working hard on oneself and the relationship, open communication, sharing the load and swapping roles to nurture the other, laughter and taking it all on together. Those beautiful life lessons and hearing the words “love you” said to me each day, and indeed saying them wholeheartedly back, have carried into my role as a partner – my husband and I are a formidable team applying those very things and learning even more about love and marriage together.

I’m incredibly, ridiculously, to the moon and back, grateful for the constant presence of these people in my life who love me and allow me to love them completely and utterly too. My mum says that from before I could talk I was a deep lover and carer. I’m honoured to share that with my closest ones. When I love, I really love.

Do you ever think about where you learned about love?

And mama? Happy mother’s day. We’re going to have a lovely day! I love you truckloads.

4 Responses
  1. May 12, 2013

    I love your tag “Lucent thoughts”! They are beautiful thoughts of love, and family, and caring, and learning. Thanks for sharing. My daughter, whose father was absent, had a very close relationship with my dad. She even called him, the dad she never had. He was quite moved by that.

  2. Megan permalink
    May 14, 2013

    What a lovely tribute to all those who taught you about love and how wonderful that you have found someone who has learned about it from his loving parents!
    The book you mentioned is one of my favourites on life lessons and being a former Prep school teacher I really appreciate its wisdom. When I was matron-of-honour at a friend’s wedding a few years ago I quoted from it heavily :)

  3. May 18, 2013

    This was such a lovely post celebrating the love and joy in your family.
    Sarah x

  4. May 24, 2013

    I definitely learned from my mum and dad. I was so lucky to grow up and have an amazing childhood, and my mom and dad were always openly loving with us, as were all of our grandparents.

    One of the things that I always cringe at is when people complain about Valentine’s Day. When I grew up, every V-Day my parents would buy my sister and I a card and it’d be on the breakfast table when we came down in the morning. The cards would just say such nice things about how proud they were of us, and how much they loved us, and I really love that about my mom and dad.

    So whenever people complain about the ‘commercialism’ of V-Day, I say ‘why’? The day is a day for celebrating the love in your life, for ANYONE, whether you’re single or not. Love doesn’t discriminate, and everyone’s got some love for someone. I think we should treat every day like Valentine’s day, and spread the love around! The world would definitely be a better place :)

    Great post!!

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