Making Your Child and Dog Feel Noticed and Loved
Toni Morrison’s words are so accurate that one sentence can bring you to your knees or set you free. Her words have really resonated with me.
Toni Morrison was on Oprah talking about her book, The Bluest Eye. Oprah said, “Toni says a beautiful thing about the messages that we get about who we are when a child first walks into a room,” and she asked her to talk about it.
Toni Morrison explained that it’s interesting to watch what happens when a child walks into a room. She asked, “Does your face light up?”
She explained, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?”
Her advice was simple, but so powerful. She said:
“Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?” I think of this advice every day, and it has become a practice. I want to light up. And, I never would have thought about it had it not been for the wisdom of Toni Morrison. And, importantly, I also use this practice our older daughter, our fur girl, Victory, who is very keenly aware of non-verbal body language, and it works really well with her, too!
What about you? Have you ever thought about this? It’s one of those little things that feels really important and children and dogs really notice.