No brotherly love allowed in Lily's world
My 6-year-old daughter is extremely jealous of anyone else I show affection to, outside the family.
She quizzes me relentlessly about how much I love the person -- often a friend of hers I gave a hug to, or was nice to. So I told her that "God says we should love everyone.''
Her response was, "Well, I don't.''
Ever since then she is constantly checking the level of mommy's Love for Complete Strangers. It's a concept she cannot accept.
I took her to T.Y. Park in Hollywood Saturday for her birthday. She wanted to know if I loved everyone there at the park that day, and if so, how much, compared to my love for her.
I've tried to explain the concept of loving people as friends, but she doesn't understand it. Ditto for the idea that people are capable of infinite amounts of love, and giving my love to someone else does not require subtracting any from her.
Still, my rule of thumb is if your child is seeking affirmation of your love, you give it, even if it's wrapped in an annoying interrogation where you are the Betrayer for calling another child "Sweetie.''
I'm beginning to conclude, though, that some people are born with insecurities and they're not all the product of experience, as I had once thought.
Yesterday she even found herself struggling over the idea that before she was born, I did not love her! This is an idea she came up with, of course.
And she was talking it out with me, trying to come to grips with a world in which her older brother, Creed, was the sole object of momma's affection.
"But you didn't even exist, Lily!'' I told her in my own defense.
She frowned and I could see her trying to accept this explanation. She's probably still mulling it over.