After spending the day at home with a decidedly-under-the-weather Mignon and Daniel and an early-morning trip to the GP (I know! How shocking has this week been??), I took Isabel on some errands with me this afternoon.
She apparently battled a little on her own at school today, so I was determined to have a little alone-time with her. I’m really glad I did.
On the way home we were listening to Adele in the car and talking about her songs. Isabel wanted to know what they were about and I tried to explain that most songs tell a story and that most of Adele’s songs are about love.
So, she asks, does Adele have a boyfriend. Yes, I say, she has had a couple of boyfriends.
Is she married, she asks. No, I say.
Why? Well, I tried to explain, you should only marry someone who loves you very much and that you love in return, like Mommy and Daddy do.
She then wanted to know who Adele loved. Whilst I was battling with how to answer a question about Adele’s love life, Isabel asks me if Adele loves everyone. So I said kind of, thinking about how awesome she was in her concert at Royal Albert Hall and how that probably relates to Isabel’s concept of “everyone” as they have seen the concert.
Which left me in a bit of a pickle. If I say “No, you can’t love everyone” am I teaching her about judgment and exclusion or am I teaching her to have good sense? I had a vision of her going to school and saying to some poor child how much she doesn’t love them.
So I tried this: “you can’t love everyone the same way. You have to love Mommy and Daddy and Daniel and Mignon because we are your family and we will ALWAYS be there and we HAVE to love each other. But you don’t have to love people who are horrible” (with my Calvinistic upbringing ringing in my ears about how God loves us all, followed shortly about the wrath of God)
It was quite an interesting conversation to have, certainly more entertaining and thought-provoking than having to explain that the tampon she was holding earlier was not a sweet.
How would you explain love and the concept thereof to your children?
Edit to add:
Just seen on FB: The average 4 year old asks 437 questions a day. We reckon Isabel is an overachiever.