Love is a powerful force for healing in our lives, both for our children and for us.
When one of our sons was young, he needed many reminders that Russ and I would be his parents forever. We would not leave him. We would not go away.
A very wise therapist advised us to take a picture with him, then print and laminate a few copies. One was hung next to his bed and another pinned inside the little tent he slept in at the time (a sensory processing tool). A third hung on a piece of yarn he wore around his neck during the day, better yet, we should have put it on a stretchy bracelet or clipped it to his shirt for safety.
He wore this as a powerful visual cue reminding him that Mommy and Daddy loved him and would always be his parents.
Although he couldn’t verbalize the details, he remembered losing his mother. One day when he was a little guy, in a very sad and insightful conversation, he told me he was afraid I was going to die. I reassured him with as much confidence as I could, I was healthy and strong and planned to be with him until he was a grown-up man himself.
I did my best to increase his trust in me by simply being trustworthy. I told him when I was leaving the house and approximately when I would be back. I didn’t sneak away to avoid the drama of saying goodbye when I was in a hurry, although it was tempting at times.
Having a picture to wear, as well as pictures by his bed, increased his feelings of security and belonging. It was simple and powerful.
We, adults, wear symbols to increase our feelings of belonging too.
Each morning I put on a pewter bracelet with the words, “courage, dear heart”. These words speak to me reminding me I am not alone, God is with me, I am loved. I often wear an Ethiopian cross, and more recently a simple necklace with the words, “it is well”. I belong to my Father; He will never leave me.
I wear my wedding band, almost never taking it off because I belong to Russ and he belongs to me.
When we give our children something to wear as a reminder of our love, even something as simple as a photo, or a heart drawn on their palm with a sharpie marker, we’re saying, “You belong to us, we belong to you.”
We are wearing love.
A few other ideas:
*a framed photo on a nightstand or hung low, right next to the bed
*a photo pinned inside a backpack
*a locket with a photo tucked inside
*a bracelet or necklace her name or favorite family phrase/scripture
*matching nose piercings (don’t ask me how I know this one – we didn’t plan it, I promise)
What would you add to this list? How do you wear love?