Especially in November, I recognize that I'm really lucky / thankful to be surrounded by all this Love. Most people have probably heard the 5 Love Languages alluded to, but the basic premise is that people feel and give love differently. This hasn't been canonized or anything but I do feel it rings true in most people. It varies with the dynamics of certain relationships and at times in my life it shifts. It is over-simplified and I think that often how people naturally show love is very different from how they feel loved, but here are some examples:
- Acts of Service -- My Folks -- When they visit, my house is cleaned-up, my dad has a mental list of things on my furnace, a/c, foundation, and plumbing to check. My mom cleans screens and sweeps and organizes. They help us through the worst spot of every project.
- Quality Time -- My Grandma -- just loves to sit and visit, which I don't do often enough, probably because it isn't my natural Love Language and I'm so busy being all crazy; at some point my priorities need to get in line. She is a delight.
- Words of Affirmation -- My Husband -- is great at encouraging when people do a good job, especially me. He is my number one cheer-leader, he may not read my blog or do his own laundry but he tells me how delicious the soup is, and how fantastic and witty I am...
- Physical Touch - My Dear Daughter -- is constantly giving back rubs, manicures, holding hands, hugging with all her strength, and walking too close, which is also why the poor girl gets lice. I don't want to squelch her love language, so I've just gotten really good at nit picking and we all give her lots of hugs.
- GIFTS! -- My Mother in Law -- shows love by giving, and we have been the lucky recipients... It took me awhile to adjust to accepting these gifts with just gratitude (not guilt), and that is what this blog is about.
This is more than a public Thank You / Affirmation; I think some of the things she does are absolutely brilliant, it isn't over the top, she doesn't pay for everything, it doesn't add clutter to the house, she tailors her gifts differently for different kids, it has changed our life for the better, and she doesn't feel pressure to do them (I don't think); besides, at this time of year especially, people, like myself, who don't have the GIFTS! Love Language, tend to need a little inspiration. I have a surprisingly large number of Grandparents who read, but I think this is relevant for Aunts and Uncles and Friends too. These are some of the things that our Fairy God-Mother does for us (her grown children and grandchildren) on a regular basis, often she doesn't even ask, they just happen: