Wash by Hand (Keep it soft)”
This is the message which was left for me by my 11-year-old daughter on top of one of her favorite blankets.
How innocent and cute. Kids have a way of assuming that you exist to answer their requests, to make their lives easier and better.
Depending on the day I have had, I can either receive such requests with a generous and loving heart or an annoyance. The day that I discovered the note on the blanket, I happened to have been in a more generous spirit. Perhaps it’s because with two oldest out of the house, I was not feeling so frazzled with demands.
When I saw the message, I smiled. I thought: ‘How sweet!’ How sweet for her to ask for special care for her blanket, as if it was for herself. And to explain, just in case I missed the point, why, “to keep it soft”.
Children remind us to treat them with special care in many ways, every day, and it is their job to keep asking. Apparently, till they are 25 or 30 depending on to whom you are talking. Apparently, they need much of this TLC good stuff from the outside until they are full inside and can access the stuff on their own. So their job is to ask and our job as parents is to provide. And why? So they in turn will stay soft and loving people.
It is the same with any relationship you value. You have to continuously feed it TLC, every day, in little and big ways to keep it “soft” and like new. Don’t treat it thoughtlessly even though it is tempting to take a short cut, because you are tired and don’t have much time or it is easier.
So even though no one will know if I throw the blanket in the washer and dryer without much much thought, I think I will give it the first class treatment my daughter requested!
If you are lucky enough to be reminded in such a sweet way to give your special attention to your special relationships, I hope you will indulge the one who asked!
Kyoung – Hi Dickson MA LMFT
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