How my kids give and receive love has come up over the last little while and it's something I've thought about now for a couple years.
It's pretty clear to me at the moment that Noah is my kid who loves to be physically loved. The cuddles, the hugs, the kisses, sitting on my lap and just being physically near to me or Jamie has been his choice of receiving love since he was born.
Lately he's been asking for more cuddle time and the last couple nights after I put him to bed I'll lay down with him and we'll chat. I'll ask him if there's anything he wants to talk about or tell me and of course there is! Tonight there were tons of "why" questions;
Why are there leaves on the curtains?
Why are there pieces of paper hanging down on the shelves?
Why are there pictures in the office?
Why is there a picture of you and Daddy kissing?
Why did you sell the computer desk at the garage sale?
Why is there a printer in the office?
And it's never just the "why" question, but:
Um, Mom? Why....
And he always waits for me to say "yes?" or "yes, Noah?"
If I don't, he'll repeat "Mom?" again until I say "yes", even if I'm looking at him and giving him 100% of my attention.
Which leads me to think that words of affirmation are huge for him as well. He loves to be acknowledged (well, who doesn't?), encouraged, and cheered on. Not too much attention and not overboard, but the right amount of sincerity and encouragement works for him.
I've been loving this "pillow talk" time with Noah and just the chance to have time spent exclusively with him.
He says the most amazing and hilarious things and I am loving who he is more and more every day.
It's interesting because I've started becoming more specific and bigger in my prayers for and with him at night. Praying for who he is and who he'll become and I wasn't sure if he was listening or noticing but lately he's been asking that I pray "just for" him. Partly this is understandable as kids' worlds revolve around themselves, but I wonder how it must make him feel to hear his Mom pray for him to grow into a man who would love Jesus and others deeply and change the world.
On another note, Noah got upset today about moving to Africa to tell people about Jesus. He said he doesn't want to go anywhere and that Jesus is dead. I think this must be shocking to those who have never had a three year old - much less a three year old boy (or at least been around 3 year old boys on a regular basis) but I wasn't offended or angry with him. I knew that this was coming from a place of confusion over how to feel about everything changing (especially for a kid who doesn't particularly like big changes). So we talked. I told him about how Jesus already did die for us but that He's alive and He's never going to have to die again. Anyway, it was an interesting conversation and the first one I've had with him where he's voiced a negative response to moving.
So we'll continue to work through this.
But back to love languages - I'm looking forward to continuing to figure out with the boys how they best receive and give love and to communicate love to them in a way that really speaks to them individually.
In the meantime, I'm going to keep giving and receiving lots of cuddles.