So it is pretty much a standard that we as people try to give what we get. Maybe part of it is a level of selfishness but I think of it as a defense mechanism. We don't want to seem vulnerable giving alot to someone who gives very little back in return. It makes us feel like we are being taken advantage of. It is understandable but that theory completely goes to the wayside when we become parents. We constantly give to these little beings who often don't give anything back.
How many times do we tell our children we love them, give them hugs and kisses and not expect them to give us anything back. We spoil them with a toy or a candy bar or something that brings them joy for the sole purpose letting them know we care. Our little babies may not say "thank you" without being asked to do so. They may not give us anything back in return. They may not tell us they love us back in return, but we still do all this anyways. I hope Bree will tell me she loves me. She tells me now "thank you" but at times I have to remind her, not because I expect it for me but because I overall want her to learn manners when she is away from me. Bree is starting to now tell me she loves me at times but I am not quite sure that she yet knows what that means. The times she does tell me she loves me makes me feel all warm and full inside. There are those moments when she comes at me and gives me a hug, gives me a kiss, or puts her arm around me and I just get an overwhelming amount of love and joy. It is not necessarily a feeling of vindication like I was given something I deserved. We as parents don't do for our kids because we feel we are deserving of something. We do out of pure love.
It is just an amazing concept to me that the rules we have taught ourselves, the protection that we put in place for ourselves goes to the wayside for our kids. Bree might be small now but I believe that even as she gets older I will continue to make concessions for her. Granted I may expect a certain level or respect from her, I will hold older Bree to a higher standard than toddler Bree but in the end we will still feel a crazy amount of selfless love for our children. I will let Bree get away with things that I won't let others get away with. No matter how mad our children get us we will still always love them whereas others we will would be more apt at cutting out of our lives. It is the kind of relationship and the kind of love I didn't really know ever existed until you have children yourselves.
Now I realize I am not telling you anything that you probably didn't already know. I am not realizing anything new. My love hasn't grown for my child, but what I am realizing is just how much more my child can get away with, how much more patience I have for her than for anyone else and how I tell her how I love her because I want HER to know and not because I need it back. If I tell my husband I love him and he doesn't tell him back then it would hurt me. One day I know my child may stop saying she loves me because it won't be "cool" anymore. It may kind of hurt but it wouldn't change my love with my child and wouldn't change the relationship. It would with anyone else. Being a parent would always be the most selfless thing you can ever be. It will be the most selfless relationship you will ever have.