My friend was going through her daughter's backpack the other day and pulled out a piece of paper with a lizard drawn on it. My friend said, "This is a nice lizard," and then her little girl burst into tears.
No, my friend hadn't misidentified a self-portrait as a lizard. It turns out my friend had accidentally discovered a Valentine's card her daughter had made for her as a surprise.
"The thing is," my friend said, "It's not even a real Valentine's Day card. It's just a lizard. It doesn't even say I love you or Happy Valentine's Day."
After we wiped away our tears of laughter, I thought about the different ways people like to let other knows they are loved and to be told or shown that they are loved.
Have you ever taken one of those quizzes online that attempt to figure out your preferred language of love? According to one site, there are five love languages. When I re-took the quiz recently and saw my result, my recent summer idea made a lot of sense to me.
This past summer, I re-branded "chores" as "show the love" activities. While they still groaned at being asked to do tasks, it's not like I work them to the bone. I wanted them to realize that taking time to keep the house clean and help with the daily tasks showed they cared about our home and taking care of our family. It also showed that they loved me and their dad and wanted to spend fun time with us, instead of making us do all the work around the house.
My kids aren't the best at helping around the house, but they do prefer to use the phrase "show the love." They are getting better, though. So after understanding my language of love, I grew curious about my kids' preferred language of love.
When I had a quick moment with each kid, I asked them how they liked to let someone know they loved them, and how they liked to know someone loved them. I suggested words, actions like hugs, gifts, spending time, and helping them.
My oldest said he likes a simple hug and kiss, and likes to give a hug and kiss. Straightforward!
The youngest wants all of the above. He is not picky and just loves to be smothered in love.
The middle one had a lot of trouble deciding how he liked to show love, but he knew right away what he wanted from people who loved him. He wanted RESPECT. From everyone.
Happy Valentine's Day!