Its amazing to me how 4 kids from the same parents have so much in common and yet are so different. Just when you think you have them figured out something clicks in their mind, they switch gears, and you are left to figure them out all over again. (As our several different chore chart attempts can attest.)
I have one child who gives me a particular challenge. Jack. He's loving and sweet and awful and annoying and funny and a brat. All. At. Once. I don't want to document any particulars at this point in time in the hope that in years to come they will all be a thing of the past and I will be left with only the good memories.
The funny thing is that ever since Jack was a baby I have told him several times a day that I love him. I tell all my kids that I love them daily, but I felt a need to repeat it multiple times a day to Jack. When he began to communicate more I made it into a little game.
"Guess what," I'd say.
He'd offer up a curious, "What?"
"I love you."
Then he'd smile and say, "I love you, too." Jack thought it was fun for a while. Pretty quickly he started to respond, "You love me," completely skipping over the formality of answering, "what?"
As he's grown older I still tell him often that I love him, though we play our game less. I did it so often that when he heard the words, "I love you," he'd say, "I 'm tired of you telling me that. You tell me that everyday." He even went so far as to insert an eye-roll here and there. Yeah, good times.
The fact is, Jack is not always well behaved. He is impulsive, reckless and thoughtless at times. He can be mean, whiny and entitled. He is all boy. There are good things, don't get me wrong. It seems, however, that the good times often come about when he's trying to dig his way out of the bad. (We're working on it.)
I've wondered if I feet the need to tell him of my love so often as a way for me to crystallize it in my own being before dealing with whatever he may throw my direction. I've also wondered if he needed to hear it often so that even when I may not be happy with his actions and choices at times he will have the crucial and fundamental knowledge that I love him. I. Love. Him.
So yes, Jack may tire of hearing it, but I shall never tire of saying it.
I love you, Jack.