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Just being together strengthens bond

Washington Post

On bonding with a child: In our society, it seems that we should be “doing” things, but what about being with each other? Some of the most magical moments can occur that way. Sit on the couch with a cup of tea and see how he reacts. I find that my son will come up and snuggle with me and tell me some of the silliest jokes, or start to sing a song, or will ask some of the most curious questions.

That often means there are dishes in the sink and the basket of laundry will get folded tomorrow, but that’s OK – we need to create space for that time. Just be with your kids and don’t sweat it too much – you still have a lot of years to go and each one will be different, but always magical. And tell them over and over how much you love them and how much they mean to you – it just feels good. – Being

On fear of loss that becomes fear of loving: I know about unexpected death because it happened to me (my sister died suddenly and unexpectedly). I think that in worrying, your mind is trying to buy an insurance policy, to get some of the pain over in advance.

Only, I can categorically say that if I had worried about my sister in advance it would not have reduced the pain I felt when she died. It would have made things worse, because as things are, I can be happy that I spent the time we had together enjoying and appreciating her to the fullest.

This doesn’t apply to situations where you can see a danger that might be averted if pointed out, of course. But otherwise, when I am tempted to worry about the sudden loss of other people I love, I make myself stop because I know from experience that it is counterproductive. – Been There

E-mail Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, or chat with her online at 9 a.m. Pacific time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.
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