Sunday, September 11, 2016

My love story - part 1


My parents.

A kid’s first view of what real love is comes from their parents or those who care for them. If you disagree then you are just kidding yourself. Denial is the first stage they say. Do you ever think – I wonder what they feel about my relationship with their mom? If you have kids, you know the next thing I say is the gospel – Kids observe, hear, say, and mimic everything they see. It is actually comical to see how well they can see and hear one thing and apply it, in context, in a whole other situation.  I remember when my wife and I were at a stop light with our boy in the back. A car cut us off and my wife smacked the wheel with a hiss of frustration. That is when a small 2yr old voice drifted up to the front, “Damn it. . . Dam it. . . Damn it.”

My parents are where I begin my love story. My parents were my first model and example of what love between two people was supposed to be like. As I look back at how they treated each other I realized that they truly taught me a lot about what true love was. I am not sure how the outside world saw them because hey. . . .I was just a kid. What did I know outside my bubble of trying to get what I wanted at the time I wanted it? I observed much though and I still do.

As I look back though, I realize that I did notice a lot. One of the things that seemed weird to me is how my friends seemed so nervous around ma and dad when they were fighting. My mom and dad had big yelling matches where they really were getting their point across (Nice way of putting it, eh?). It seems like it was a lot when I was little but then I don’t really think there were that many now. They were loud and they dragged on and on. Ma would cry and dad sometimes got to the point where he would hit something – but NEVER ma of course.  It was pretty terrifying to someone that had not grown up in our house. They would eventually lose steam and part ways for a while. Then they would be fine later that day or the next day. They would make up and it would be over. It was just the way they did arguments.

I didn’t realize it at the time but the friends I had looked differently on this from their point of view. They saw fighting as a precursor to divorce or discontent in the household.  For me and my siblings though, we never considered it. All my siblings and I knew from experience that they would make up and settle up and reconnect. I knew then that there is one thing that superseded everything else. They were married and they needed each other.  Fighting was normal but they loved each other and working it out was just part of their way. They never said anything that would hint to not wanting to be with each other. They never took their anger of the fight out on us either. To my siblings and I, the just fought over it a bit and then. . . well it was over.

I learned a couple things about this that I keep true to me today. Fighting and disagreeing is normal because we are talking about two different people who have feelings and those feelings can be hurt. It does not mean that you don’t love each other or that you bail over a disagreement. I also feel that reconnecting is important. Making up even when you still disagree is part of acknowledging the other’s need to be loved no matter what. It is also a way of saying that they are still important to you even if you are still mad or still disagree.

I also had decided that I never wanted a shouting match fighting style with my wife. Even though I was confident that ma and dad would make up and that they just had to get it out of their system, I personally didn’t care for it. So it seems weird to others when I say that my wife and I don’t fight. We really don’t argue or raise our voices at each other. It is kind of a weird concept to others. But I guess that when they see me with my wife they eventually understand. There are times nagging and complaining happen but those are justly deserved and we both start to carry our weight like we should. But as for the yelling . . . it is just not for me.

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