…Oh baby, don’t hurt me
Don’t hurt me no more
Oh, baby don’t hurt me
Don’t hurt me no more…
Way back in 1983, I became a big sister. And I loved my little sister. Her name is S. She’s 29 now. When she was still a baby, sometimes, before my mom and dad would wake up, I would sneak into her room and talk to her. I very clearly remember on one occasion, telling her the definitions of every word I said to her, because I figured, “She’s a baby, she doesn’t know what these words mean!”
And I told her I loved her.
And I remember struggling to try to define “love”. I was three years old then.
Fast forward 29 years: I was reading Miss A a Princess and the Frog book at bedtime last night. At one point, it talked about how Tiana and Naveen found “true love”. She stops me, and asks, “What is true love?”
I replied, ‘It’s love that’s real.”
“What is love?” she asked.
And I found myself in that same place I was in 29 years ago, talking to my baby sister. I had no words to describe the wonderful, powerful emotion that love is. I tried keeping it simple, explaining that it’s a feeling, and there are all different kinds of love — the love we have for our friends, the way we love our pets, the way Mommy and Daddy love her, and the way she loves us, and the way we love each other.
She looked confused, so I kept going. I explained that Tiana and Naveen’s love meant they wanted to get married. She then asked, “What does it mean to get married?”
At this point, I’m pretty sure my brain exploded and I performed some circular logic. “Well, they loved each other. They wanted to be together forever because they loved each other. So they got married.”
“What does that mean?”
I basically repeated what I’d just said using different words. She still looked confused.
“Okay, Mommy. I think it’s time to keep reading.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love her questions, I love her inquisitive nature, and I love having these conversations with her. But I have to admit…I was really, really glad to be off the hook.