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Local Columns

November 29, 2011

Primus Mootry: Children tell us the meaning of love

ANDERSON, Ind. — An old friend from Chicago recently emailed to me one of those chain letters most of us get from time to time. You know, it’s the letter you’re supposed to send to five or 10 other friends with a request that, when they have received and read it, they will pass it on to their group of five or 10 folks to send out.

Usually, when I get such letters, I read and then delete or toss them. It’s not so much that I have a shortage of friends to send them to. I just don’t care for people sending me stuff promising good fortune if I do what they say. And, since that is how I feel about it, I wouldn’t want to impose on others who probably feel much the same way.

Anyway, when I got my friend’s email the other day, after reading it I thought it was worth sharing. In so doing, I simply note that our children are often much wiser than we think, and certainly more honest than adults. We have much to learn from them!

Now, as to the email, it briefly recorded what a group of 4- to 8-year-old children replied when asked what love means. Here are some of their answers:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis, too. That’s love.” — Rebecca, 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” — Billy, 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” — Karl, 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french fries without making them give you any of theirs.” — Chrissy, 6

“Love is what makes you smile when you”re tired.” — Terri, 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him to make sure the taste is OK.” — Danny, 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.” — Emily, 8

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” — Bobby, 7

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” — Nikka, 6

“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.” — Noelle, 7

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” — Tommy, 6

“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.” — Cindy, 8

“My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.” — Clare, 6

“Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.” — Elaine, 5

“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” — Mary Ann, 4

“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.” — Lauren, 4

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” — Karen, 7

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” — Jessica, 8

Finally, one little boy told the story of an elderly next-door neighbor whose wife had died.

When he saw the man crying, he went over to his yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When asked what he said to the old man, the little boy said: “Nothing. I just helped him cry.”

Have a nice day.

Primus Mootry is an Anderson resident. His columns are published each Wednesday.

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