C was in the middle of her bedtime routine when she asked me, “Do you love Po Po (maternal Grandma) and Gong Gong (maternal Grandpa) more or Bob (aka. Baba) more?”
In the mirror I saw her head tilt up as she looked at me, the top of her three foot frame nearly reaching my shoulders thanks to the stool she stood on. Her big brown eyes sparkled with intensity, waiting for an answer.
Hm? What was she getting at? And why do I always get asked the strange/deep/unanswerable questions?
Humph. But as any parent (and therapist) knows, when you don’t have an answer to a question, you keep your cool and do the ‘ole switcheroo. So I asked the question back, “Who do you think I love more?”
She replied without hesitation (because as usual C already had it all figured out and was just testing me!), “Bob, of course. Because without Bob, you wouldn’t have me and E.”
Hee hee. Of course. 🙂
Although her 6 year old logic had some flaws, she was right about one thing. Life is all about relationships.
No matter who we are, where we come from or where we’re going, we are all connected to other people. Our parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, children, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, friends, enemies, strangers … the list goes on and on, especially if you include social networking.
My conversation with C got me thinking that as much as I’m an introvert and prefer to be alone, I am a better person because of the relationships I have. (I may have groaned as I typed that last sentence.)
The hardest things I have had to learn have happened because of other people’s presence and influence on my life. I’m talking about the processes of acceptance, forgiveness and trust. There’s also the acts of sharing, cooperation and encouragement. To put it simply, it’s the lessons of learning how to get along that have built my character. (Okay, I did groan this time, haha.)
As complicated and messy and tiring as relationships can be, we would not be who we are without them. And I firmly believe the people we have in our lives are there for a reason.
What’s that reason? It’s the four letter word that seems to weave itself through all of our relationships: LOVE.
It’s a sense of belonging that we all want and need. It’s the idea that C has that she and E are important to me, which is why I should love their Baba more than their grandparents. I didn’t mention to her that without my parents, I wouldn’t be around to have kids, but that’s beside the point. What I did say to her at the end of our conversation was this: “I love God the most because He gave all of you to me.”
And maybe that was a cop-out answer or the most brilliant answer I could have given, but it is what I know to be true. I am thankful for all the people that God has brought to cross my path. I may not always act like it (especially when I just want some peace and quiet!), but my world is so much richer because of all the relationships – close and far, in person and online – that I have had the privilege of meeting and doing life with.
So, here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend of being with the people you love, especially the moms in your life this Sunday. 🙂
And here’s a fun parody of the song “American Boy” by Only Won & Larissa Lam called “Cantonese Boy”. I picked it in light of C’s answer to her own question (that I should love hubby more) and also because I just celebrated 14 years of marriage with my own Cantonese boy. 🙂
Who are the people in your life that you are sure crossed your path for a reason?