Nobody is too big for Love
It happened. After years of babywearing and very few remarks from strangers (like the famous “can he breathe in there?”) someone actually said it. And not to me, to him. It was one of those moments when you can’t come back with a smart response fast enough, but right after the conversation is over you know what you should have said. I am sure I am not the only one who has those moments. Anyway, let’s rewind a little.
My son is 3. Every day he chooses how to go to kindergarten: by bike, by tram, by bus, by scooter or carried. The same happens when I pick him up and he comes home. Sometimes, weather gets in the way and we have to work around it, but mostly he decides. As long as he gets there, we don’t really care how. Today I went to pick him up with the Ergo Baby Carrier in my bag. I greeted him, hugged him and asked if he wants to walk or wants the carrier. He said carrier. Carrier it was.
As we were getting out the main door, we saw his teacher. We greeted as she approached, looking at him. And then these words came out of her mouth (in German, but I will translate):” Isaiah, but you are too big for this.”
I looked at her and I was in shock. First of all, because she dared shame my son for being in my arms. Second, because she addressed him instead of me. If you have a problem with my parenting, tell me! Don’t address my son as if I am not right there.
As usual, I smiled. I don’t know why, I just did. I guess it was a reaction meant to calm ME down before I said “NO! He likes it and so do I”. Said goodbye and left. My son was too embarrassed to even say bye. And keep in mind it’s his favorite teacher!
I wish I had a stronger response. Polite, but firmer. I wish I said NOBODY IS TOO BIG FOR LOVE. Because that’s what we are doing. We are loving each other. After a day apart, after a day full of emotions and discoveries, after friends un-friending him and then friending him again (you know, kids)…. he needs to vent. He needs to tell his mommy all about it. Some days are good, some days are not so good in his little world. As parents, we have to be there and show support and understanding. Hug when they need a hug, kiss a boo-boo to make it better and listen to their stories.
Why is it that if a parents picks up their 3, 5, 10 year old for a hug and a kiss is ok, but if that hug lasts longer, they are suddenly too big for it? Our hug lasted 20 minutes, while he told me about his day, played with my hair, gave eschimo kisses and ate a fruit. We then got home and went about our business.
I am not too old for love. I wish that when I am tired and overwhelmed, someone would pick me up and carry me, listen to me and hug me. If I would like that, why can’t I offer this to my 3 year old without being seen as a weirdo and my son being shamed for it? I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it. We will continue to do it for as long as he needs it. I will love him and carry him. It won’t last forever, so I will enjoy it as long as it lasts. Let love win!