Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
One of the highlights of my day is always picking up Jack from daycare, because I know he will come running to me with a big smile on his face.
Then, he’ll cuddle up close to me like a koala bear as I hold him and collect his things before taking him out to the car.
With Jack, moments of cuddling like that are rare. It’s safe to proclaim, he’s just not a cuddly kind of kid.
I want to say that I wish he was. But that would be me being selfish.
Because he was designed to be an adventurer and an explorer, so it’s not in his nature to want to let me squeeze him like the Snuggles bear whenever I feel like it; which is actually quite often.
Jack wants to be led into swashbuckling missions. He wants to see the unknown. He wants to ride in the bottom storage part of the shopping cart at Whole Foods Market.
I have to let Jack be Jack, even if that means that at least for right now, I can’t just lay on the couch with him, being close and cuddly. Because that’s what I want.
So I accept that his love language is probably not physical touch.
Instead, I think Jack interprets love through quality time and acts of service.
That typically involves me exerting a lot of energy and burning a bunch of calories and not having much time to just chill out when I’m with him.
It’s not so much that I’m constantly having to entertain him; it’s that I’m constantly needing to engage him. Interestingly, the activities that best express my love to him in a way that he accepts as valid are the ones that most wear him out and cause him to need to take a nap.
Now I can understand even better why roughhousing with my son is so vitally important.
Chasing him like I’m a lion, then gently tossing him on the random air mattress in our living room is the equivalent to snuggling with him. That’s how Jack sees it.
And perhaps my subconscious realization of that naturally makes me want to play rough with him in the first place.
It’s been no secret that Jack and my dad have always had a special bond.
Even when Jack was only a couple of months old, he always appreciated my dad carrying him around the house, showing him the insides of bedrooms and the pictures on the walls.
What is it about that special bond between grandfather and grandson? It’s not just their same first and last name.
I believe it has a whole lot to do with the fact my dad does a perfect love of expressing love to Jack in a way that Jack can best understand it.
Remember the whole water hose incident last weekend?
Prime example. Put Jack and his Papa together, and they’ll figure out something fun to do.
My son isn’t the Snuggles bear.
But I do think he might be Curious George.