My photo
Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

26 May 2011

Guess How Much I Love You

From the time C1turned three, she has been saying, “I love you, Daddy!” when B tucks her in for the night. And, of course, he replies, “I love you too, my darling.” My heart always does a little skippity-skip when I overhear this.

Some strawberry & chocolate love-hearts we ate recently

What’s the big deal, you wonder. Don’t all parents and kids tell each other they love them??? Er, *hand going up tentatively* not mine. I can’t recall either of my parents saying ‘I love you’ to me. Not on a daily basis. Not when I reached important milestones. Not ever.

I must state that there is not the slightest trace of self-pity as I write this; it was just the way things were. Of course, I knew in every fibre of my being that they loved me unconditionally – and that they always will. But those three ‘big’ little words were never spoken out loud; it was just understood.

With my parents, their love was apparent from their everyday actions: Dad would sometimes do the bunk from work so that he could pick me up from school on his motorbike. Now, he calls (Bombay to Sydney) me at least once a week, just for a chat. Mum was my sounding board during my teens – always listening, never berating – and still is. That’s love in deed, indeed!

I’m not sure if it was a cultural thing or a generational thing... Maybe after 33 years if they decided to profess their love, it would just sound weird or too corny. They know that I know that they love me. So does it need to be verbalised? I would say Yes. Bringing up my own kids, I realise the importance of saying "I love you" to them – plainly yet profoundly. And backing it up with my actions.

Did your parents say "I love you" to you when you were growing up? Do you have your own special way of saying it to your children? Rubbing noses? In sign language? A big sloppy kiss?


  1. I absolutely love reading your blog Alison, it brings back so many memories close to my heart. The way you co-relate the childhood we had with the reality of kids growing up today is fantastic!I hope you keep writing - because I can't get enough!

  2. I think it's a cultural thing. Western cultures do promote more of the verbalizing of emotions. I agree...if my dad were to say those words to me now, it would sound absolutely corny. My husband is American, and if we have a kid, he/she sure is going to get hugged a lot and will have those 3 words said a lot. Big difference from my time growing up. It's weird...I can't even really bring myself to say those words to my siblings now. Just the way it is (was), I guess. :-)


  4. no they didn't. not on a routine basis anyway. it's a generational thing I guess, at least for us Indians. By the way Alison, I love your blog!

  5. Can't believe how close this is to the scenario in my family... It would be odd and awkward if I suddenly said I love you to my parents or siblings :) we all know we love each other but never vocalise it... hugging is a recent development due to distances in our life :) definitely a generation thing that will change with the next generation!


Would love to hear from you, so go ahead and post a comment here!