A Child’s Natural Love For The Adult

child's natural love of the adult

In my kitchen at the back of the drawer that holds the hotpads, is a green oven mitt. Worn, with a few holes in it, the mitt is visible every time I open the drawer. Its mate, regrettably, was lost in a move. The mitt’s been around for almost 30 years. It is my hope that it will always be there.

Mac’s Hardware in Webster Groves in October of 1985 carried a little bit of everything–the usual nuts and bolts, children’s toys and books along with kitchen and gift items. For Dana, newly five, it was the place to go and buy her much loved Mercer Mayer and Berenstain Bear books. Her birthday and allowances had created a bankroll for her, $12.50, enough to buy five of her favorite books.

For days Dana counted her money from her big pig bank, asking me if she had enough money for sales tax. She waited until Saturday to go to Mac’s in order for her weekly allowance to be in hand.

Saturday morning off we went to Mac’s. As soon as we entered the store, Dana looked at me and said, “Mommy, you need to stay right here. I don’t want you to help me. I want to buy this all by myself. Don’t even look at the cash register.”

I glanced at Dana then to our regular cashier, smiled and nodded, promising to stay in gardening supplies. In a few minutes, the transaction was completed and Dana grabbed my hand and said she was ready to go.

As she buckled her car seat, Dana held her bag tightly. Entering the house, Dana headed straight to her bedroom and shut the door. I figured she was eager to look at her birthday purchases.

The next morning at breakfast, Dana came downstairs holding a package wrapped in Dana designed and decorated paper.

A gift for me. As I opened the present, I gasped in surprise. Inside were two oven mitts. Forest green. I had admired them at the hardware store months before, but had deemed them too expensive at $6.25 a piece. In 1985, you could eat a nice lunch out for $3.00, tip included.

Two oven mitts lay on my lap. Two mitts that took every penny my daughter had saved.

I had never been the recipient of such a gift.

“Do you like them, Mommy?”

“They,” I said “are the best gift ever”.

In my kitchen drawer there is a worn green oven mitt. For me, it symbolizes the love a child has for his or her parents. To me it represents how the love for adults, intense and pure, motivates the actions of children, if only we take the time to see from that point of view.

It is my hope the mitt will always be there, reminding me to evermore handle that love with care.

9 Responses to “A Child’s Natural Love For The Adult”

  1. Suseela Kumaravel

    This brings tears of joy. Yes, if only we took time to see the children from their point of view.

  2. Adriana

    This is a beautiful story but I’m a bit saddened because my children have never and I feel will never do that for me (we are Asian). Could you pls write a piece (or a whole book) about how to develop a relationship where children do that for parents?

    • Adriana,

      For the next few weeks my Kids Talk newsletters and blog posts will focus on “seeing from a child’s point of view.”

      What I would encourage you to do is for this next week make note of when your children express their love for you or another adult.

      This child’s love for the adult is universal and includes all cultures.

      Our problem is that we tend not to see it because we don’t know that it exists.

      When Dana told me to “not look at the cash register” I do remember having to stifle a bit of a reaction of feeling disrespected.

      But there was no disrespect intended. Her tone and insistence was about Dana’s desire to independently do something for me.

      If I hadn’t allowed her request, I would have squashed her display of love, and never experienced it.

      Again, I believe these acts of natural love are occurring all the time. We have to be watching.

  3. Glennis McNeal

    A warm and touching story, Maren. Over the years these tattered items become the repository for our most enduring memories. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Got tears in my eyes! We adults need to slow down and appreciate each and every small gesture of our children is filled with so much love and kindness!!

  5. Sophie

    Yes – there are so many ways that children express their love – even just including you in their drawings or wanting to hold your hand when you go for a walk – if only we can be receptive to it and recognise it when it happens. Tune in to them and be present. When the family pet can do it they get engulfed in love and kindness! Be present in giving your own love and compassion and it comes back in its own way. How lucky we are to be parents.

  6. Kathy John

    What are beautiful story of love. I hope my two children (2 & 4) will do such beautiful actions as well, and that is why I will continue to read and explore how to build loving and better relationships with my children everyday. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. A wonderful story. At 43, I am new to parenthood and I find stories like these so inspiring! Thank you for sharing and all that you do to support us parents.


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