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This Valentine’s week we’re talking about love, what it means to us, and how we show love to our own loved ones.

I was brought up in a very un-demonstrative family, as were both my parents and also my husband Sam.  I knew I was loved, but my parents didn’t feel they had to keep telling me I was loved every few hours.  I didn’t worry about not being loved as a child, and didn’t think it was strange that we rarely hugged or kissed. Mum and Dad were always there for me, and that was what mattered.

Fast forward 20 or so years and I have two children of my own.  I love them to the moon and back, and loved cuddling them when I read them stories.  In fact my younger son was very clingy and rarely out of my arms until he was about four!  However, I’m still not one to keep saying ‘I love you’ every five minutes, but both boys know the love is there.

Fast forward another 20 years and those 2 boys have two children apiece.  My daughters-in -law tell their children they are loved about every half an hour, although my sons are a bit more reticent and only tell them a couple of times a day!  The children thrive and blossom in the knowledge of it, and also text me and tell me on the phone that they love me.  How wonderful!  Of course I reply that I love them too, and now I wish I could turn back the clock and start all over again with my own boys, but growing up in the family that I had, saying ‘I love you’ all the time to my nearest and dearest just never occurred to me.

I do think children know that they’re loved though, even if they’re not told it.  I knew it, and I know I’m loved now by Sam and all our immediate family, who thankfully do not spend the majority of their day fawning all over me and saying how much they love me!  The love is there, I’ve only got to look in their eyes.  It’s an instinctive knowledge that I’m loved and that we’re all there for one another.  We’re a family unit, and in my opinion there’s no need for them to keep proving their love for me day after day.

This ‘love’ problem is the basis of my new memoir ‘Waiting in the Wings’.  Funnily enough my 92 year old mother only started telling me that she loved me about 5 years ago.  It seemed mightily strange at the time, but now I’m getting used to it.  I even make her day sometimes and tell her the same.

What does love mean to you?  Did you grow up in a demonstrative family?  Click on the blue button below to add your comment and read other blogs on the subject:

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