My two-year-old son has the habit of putting his left thumb in his mouth. Often when he does this, he also reaches out to me or his Mom with his right hand and fondles any part of our body that he can reach. It often has a great feeling experiencing him do this. It could happen while one of us is carrying him and rocking him to sleep or when he is lying in bed and trying to sleep off.
A few days ago he woke up about 4:00 AM and began doing this to me. I really wanted to catch a little more sleep so it was a bit of a disturbance to at that time of the morning. Once in a while I would push his hand away and try to sleep but he wouldn’t budge. I did this over and over until I gave up and left him on the bed to go and sleep for the last thirty minutes of my night on the carpet. Less than five minutes later he came down from the bed and lay on my back! it was almost funny but for the time of day.
Some people have a similar experience with their spouses. They get a call every hour or two from their spouse while they are “busy” at work and it seems to be a bother. On the other hand some people never hear from their spouses till they get home. Go figure. Others always hear their spouses yelling at them to come home earlier or pay more attention to them.
The whole point of these two stories can be summarized in two ideas. One is the fact that while your family may express their love for you in diverse ways, it is important to realise that what is being expressed is actually LOVE. Love is something that many people in this world do not experience so we must value it when someone finds us important enough to them to pinch us or yell at us to come home. The comedian Kasime Anne joked that singleness may seem like great freedom but you realize you may have to get home and shout “Hello” only to have the walls of your huge house echo back to you “Hiii”! Or maybe you have to buy two mobile phones so you can call yourself!
Paul Kofi Mante said in a recent presentation that work is like a rubber ball while family is like an egg. If you drop the ball, it will bounce back to you but if you drop the egg, it is likely to crack. Value the love you receive from your family even when it seems to be a bother. Respond to the love in your own way and make them feel valued too.
When I wrote on marriage in the book Till Death I learnt a few new things about cars, medicine, writing itself and of course relationships. Back then, my Senior Partner and I came up with a few tips that could help married men resonate constantly in their wife’s minds.
After going through these tips, I would be glad if you provide feedback on the results of practising just two out of the ten tips over a period of time. Also, you could add tips from your own experience as comments. So here we go:
1. Send a very special SMS or IM everyday whenever you are away. Sample:
‘Someone got me really upset today then he wondered why I just smiled. I smiled ‘cos at that very moment, I thought about u’
2. Spend thirty minutes every day talking to her exclusively. Turn off the TV, your phones, your computer and just talk with her.
3. Have her pose and take pictures of her every weekend. Take pictures of her when she is asleep and surprise her with them.
4. Do the cooking, house chores or take care of the baby all by yourself and let her do whatever she wants every two weeks.
5. Take her out to dinner, a park, the beach, the movies or wherever at least once a month.
6. Buy her a small gift every month. On special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas – buy her a big gift.
7. Visit her at her office once in a while unannounced. Let her colleagues know you.
8. Take her on a trip out of town at least once a year. Depending on where you are going, vary the modes of transport.
9. Describe a part of her body in detail to her once in a while. You can recite it like a poem, write it and send it in the mail or capture it on a camcorder.
10. Confess your commitment to her in a spiritual atmosphere and let her reciprocate. Sample:
‘You belong to me and I belong to you. You are pleasing to me and sufficient for me. I will never desire another. Our souls are bound by a blood covenant in God the Father. Till Death do us part’.