"Mommy I love you... " that phrase made hearts melt.. but not the following phrase that comes with it - "Thank you for buying me ice-cream."
I couldn't help but chuckle softly and turned over to my right and sure enough hubby was suppressing a grin. The little boy of about 6 or 7 was walking with his mommy one fine evening in Singapore during our Sept 2011 trip, and we happened to be within earshot of the cute exchange.
If I remember correctly, children does not really 'love' or learn to love unconditionally until they have 'matured' into an adult, at least that is what my Psychology classes taught me last time during my undergrad years. Imagine you are born and everything revolves around you from infancy right up to childhood, and you cannot help but have this self-centered mind-set and imagine the rebellion when some 'sense of responsibility' were being forced upon these self-centered individuals who had everything served right up to their hands/mouth all these while, and then we have this thing called the rebellious teens. Not a surprise why they rebel, isn't it? They have been conditioned that way, and suddenly you are changing the rules? Kinda unfair if you ask me... lol, anyway, it's part of the growing pains.
I don't know, I don't have children myself, but I do have goddaughters, two of them and I love them to bits, I know they love me as their godmother but to what extent, I am not disillusioned, they love me for the gifts I supply on a regular basis, like more than a couple of times a year. Proof? They finally verbalised it, or rather, the elder girl, when I arrived at the airport and followed her parents (my friends) to pick her up from school, the first thing she said was "Mommy Sue, where is my birthday present?", it was her birthday a couple of years back. I think as children, they quantify love to the amount/total of gifts you give them?
Anyway, she is turning 11 this year and her sister, my younger goddaughter is turning 9, and I had a glimpse of what kind of teenagers they would grow up to the last time I saw them as I slept with them my entire trip there and we had some girly chat before going to sleep.
Hmmm.... let's hope their tween (pre-teen) years are prolonged and still keep the innocence around them, they still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, thanks to their mother, my good frend Audrey who wanted to provide/preserve the sanctity of a childhood in today's harsh world. Instead of a coin, Audrey gave her girls 5 bucks for each tooth under their pillow, *salute* I didn't even have any when I was a little girl!!!
Back to conditional love, it is quite disheartening to see that some children never grew out of their infancy, i.e. adults who are self-centered and hardly make the effort to expand their view/horizon. "Of course I love you, honey, you are so beautiful".... five or ten years later, they are no more beautiful or sweet anymore and they move on.
Infidelity aside, we have people who don't treasure relationships of any kind and for them, it all boils down to "how much is she/he of use to me and what does it matter to me?" Hence with these kind of people, friendship has an 'expiry date'. When they feel that you are of no more use to them, you are considered expired friends and they cease to even make effort to be friends with you anymore.
That, my friends, is called Conditional Love. Maybe not 'LOVE', Love, maybe conditional relationship. Nope, conditional ties is more like it, relationship takes a lot of work, so they just form ties that are easy to cut off after it has run its course.
I have learned to not really care about these 'children/kidults (kid+adults) who never grew out of their infancy' and their self-centered little world over the years. Of course that is learned through many bitter and painful experiences with such people whom you thought were your 'true friends'. Oh well, good riddance I guess. I have more like-minded people whom I call friends in later part of my life and there is nothing that I would change about them!
Here's a toast to maintaining a good relationship with as little conditions as possible! Happy relationships, everyone!!!