Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm Italian and a Yes, I'm Affectionate

I was driving along in the van with my children one day and my second oldest was sitting in the seat next to me. It's a new thing for us because she's been too young or too tiny by law to sit in the front seat. If she knows we're going some place local she'll jump into the front seat next to me. It's been  fun having her all to myself. The other kids are in the back talking and singing and the two of us are in the front just conversing without being interrupted. So, this one day my girl was so excited to have this alone time with me that she starting talking and never stopped to take a breath. She laughed and giggled at herself -she was just so adorable! Well, my response to her cuteness was touch. Anytime she said something that just got my heart I reached over and  grabbed her shoulder, touched her head, or pinched her cheek. She stopped talking for a moment and said with the sweetest voice, "Why do you keep touching me?"  "Well, I said, " I guess touching you is one way I communicate that I am absolutely head over heels in love with you." She reached out her hand and grabbed my shoulder back! We both laughed.

Now when we're in the house and she's talking on and on and I look at her beautiful face and sparkly eyes I see now just how much I can't stop myself from hugging her, kissing her, basically overwhelming her with affection and interrupting her train of thought.  We've had many laughs over it. I tell her that I touch her more than she touches me not only because I'm 100% Italian and she's only half Italian but because I love her way more than she could possibly love me!

I know my Italian heritage has affected me to be a physical person, but the love the Lord has put in my heart for my kids is so much at times that it aches my heart. I have to hold them, and kiss them, squish them, even step lightly on their little chubby toes to catch their attention and wink at them.  I play, "What time is it?" and tickle them or walk over to them to just smell their head. I think it's a mommy thing and I think our children need our affection. Granted, I may over do it, but my love comes bursting out into a smile, a hug, a squeeze - you name it. I think no matter what happens my kids know I love them.

Sometimes when I see my nieces or  friend's children I find my heart overwhelmed with love for them and I can't hold back. I remember so many times when I have swooped up a friend's child to kiss them and I have  gotten a surprised look from the child. They had no idea how much I loved them until then, but after that they knew that I required hugs and kisses when they saw me.

I kind of think Jesus must have had that too. He loved us so much that He died on the cross for us. His heart must have been bursting with love for His friends and family. I can see Him greeting His friends with a big bear hug, embracing them and loving them. Holding the little children, and taking them up on His lap. I love the thought of Jesus holding me or walking along with me holding my hand.  I pray for my children each night that  they will have visions of walking with Jesus in a meadow, side-by-side, holding His hand and talking with Him. The vision is so beautiful and tender.

I am a mere human with a heart that is corrupted by this world and yet my heart overflows with love for my children, how very much more does our Savior, Jesus Christ, love us.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11)

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