conversations, part 1...

>> Monday, April 27, 2009

After a restful Sabbath afternoon at my parent's house (go ahead and read that to mean "after sleeping for 3 hours straight"), we all gravitated toward the living room and just hung out.

Somehow, we started talking about the five love languages (see Gary Chapman's book/website here), childhood memories, and the general process of growing up.

The conversation wandered from wishing we had better understood the concept of love languages as kids, to finding a sense of being at ease within ourselves on this side of teenage angst. As kids, my love language was distinctly and dominantly Quality Time. My sis expressed affection dually through Acts of Service and through Gift-giving. Mom shared the languages of Physical Touch and Quality Time.

That means that my sister spent countless hours drawing cards to give away, making/baking/cooking things for people, and running to fetch anything you asked. As a big sister, I have to admit I shamelessly exploited her eagerness to fetch - I never thought of it as her love language, just as the amazing perk of having a baby sister sitting around to do my bidding.

Me? I just wanted to sit and talk with people. Quality Time, baby, that's what it was all about. And mom? She wanted to hug. It meant we got a lot of affection whether we wanted it or not! (No, really, it was good for us...) But since mom and I shared the desire for Quality Time, we also spent hours together talking. And I never could understand why my sister didn't want to join us.

Mom often told me, "Your sister is very different than you, and you have to accept that you're not the same." But I wish I'd been able to know how we were different. I think we could have had a much stronger and closer relationship if we'd been able to speak each other's languages.

So with the impending generation, I'm hoping that we can teach our children not only to begin to understand themselves, but also to acknowledge and speak each other's love languages fluently.

It's a nice thought, anyway.

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