With our kids home, we find that by design we have more conversations and need to answer more questions. We also find that having a child a year away from going to college, we are trying to rack our brains for any lessons that we may have forgotten to give her. Separating laundry? Check. Brushing twice a day and flossing once? Check. Love your fellow man and don’t judge those who are different? Check. Those are all important but what about things having to do with matters of the heart? Have we taught her the important lessons that she will need to protect herself and yet know when to give her precious heart?
Lee says: This week we are talking about the common love myths and I find myself having these conversations with Jeannie that sound something like this, ‘Did you hear that singer, what he said?’ She’ll usually answer something like, ‘Of course.’ And then I go in for the kill and say, ‘Well that’s bullshit!’ With songs like ‘Love stinks’ and ‘Love hurts’ and ‘You always hurt the ones you love’ it is no wonder that people believe that pain is universal. However, how do you say that with a straight face?
One little nugget I have taught my daughter is this:
Myth: Love conquers all.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love me some Beatles. I can sing along really loud and not even embarrass my kids (yes, cute, funny and a good voice). But ‘All you need is love’ is a crock that I will never pass on to my children. At the end of the day, you cannot survive on love and quite frankly it only makes you hungry and sore.
Yes, this is what I tell my 17 year old daughter with Asperger’s. Why? Because when we discuss these things with our kids we need to understand that fairy tales have messed up our kids enough and we need to set them straight. We need to deprogram them from making bad choices based on these stupid ideas of what Love is. We need to be like Joe Friday, ‘Just the facts Ma’am’. Or is that Mom? Hmmm. Sure I can get all flowery and perhaps I am a bit jaded after parenting a special, wonderful, beautiful child like my Jeannie but I truly believe that kids respond better to the straight truth than a cushioned half truth.
So Jeannie knows that love takes work and that stress can kill even true love if you do not know how to communicate and accept feedback and learn to accept the ebb and flow of life and love. She will walk into her relationships knowing that she has a love of the ages but a job loss or an interloper into their beautiful fairy tale can fuck the whole thing up. We talk about the power of love and the how love can heal you and yet we have problems listening to our lovers and even being open to them when they express dissatisfaction. In most people’s cases, Ego conquers all. Love is really a distant second or third.
I want to arm my kids with the whole truth and as much information and self esteem as their bodies can handle. If they are going to conquer something, I hope they know that self-love conquers all but love of another requires back-up skills.
Paul says: Love does not conquer all. For a good relationship, love is the minimum requirement. It’s like me saying, ‘I want to be a violinist so all I need is a good fiddle’. Sure I do need a violin but some lessons, talent and practice would be in order also.
Like so many other things that are good and beautiful, if we do not know how to nurture love then we will lose it. I’m not saying that love will die because I frankly do not believe it but it can take a trip to Amsterdam. Then you will need to find it again, pull it out of an opium den, fly it all the way home, and get it into rehab. Who wants to go through all of that?
Wouldn’t it just be easier to learn how to love, to breath more love into love, and to live happily ever after?