But Mom! Won’t I Ever Get Rewarded?
Not that you actually asked this question, but I foresee that you might someday.
About why other kids get an ice cream when they listen to their moms, and you don’t.
About why other kids get a trip to Disneyland when they do good in school, and you don’t.
About why other kids get a kiss with "Good Girl/Boy" when they are told to share their toys with you, and you don’t.
About why other kids get a sticker when they’re done painting, and you don’t.
About why other kids get a brand new toy if they shut up and stop crying, and you don’t.
My dear daughter, it is because you are not a puppy in need of training.
Some different-minded-clueless-persons might think there are no difference between the two.
Well, they can’t be entirely wrong, because, to some extent, a small person like you and a little puppy do have similarities.
That both you and puppy need to see us happy in order for you to be happy; that both you and puppy need our approval in order to feel good about the things you do; that both you and puppy need clear signals from us that screams 'we love you'.
You are so dependent on our love that it becomes the only purpose of your lives.
But, a puppy will not grow up one day and face the world on its own - without the owner by its side. For this puppy will live its whole life for its owner.
You will one day grow up, and realize you no longer need my approval for things that you do or do not do,
you will no longer want me telling you what to do or what not to do.
you will no longer care about getting a sticker/ice cream/Disney trip/new dress/new toy/new car/new tools/new gadgets…
When that day comes, what would you do?
When you could no longer be moved by my rewards, what would you do?
Would you seek rewards from others?
Seek approval from others? Especially from the ones you like or would like to please or even love or think you love?
Without a single doubt, I would go to the end of this world to find one way or any way just to make my rewards work again.
But you know too damn well, that you only want rewards from the ones you want rewards from - For this was the way you were raised.
I’m not saying that people you love or you think you love don’t or won’t reward you.
And I would be scared if and when these people do.
What do they want from you giving you that Tiffany’s?
What do they expect when they give you that flight tickets with a week stay on that private island in Fiji?
What do they ask of you when they told you you are to be made famous?
What do they really want from you when they emotionally or physically pushed you into a corner with no escape and told you that you are beautiful, and that you are the only one they want, and all that they do is for you and that they love you?
Devils would eat my brains, and I would be damned to hell if you would give in to these rewards just because these are the people you want to please.
I will NEVER reward you for shutting up when what you really need is a good cry… but I will listen.
I will NEVER reward you for doing something you enjoy doing… but I will acknowledge your effort.
I will NEVER reward you for giving me the much needed cooperation… but I will thank you.
I will NEVER reward you for being yourself.
I will NEVER reward you for the reason that I LOVE YOU.
Love, is unconditional - My love is.
When a reward gets in our way, my love for you loses its meaning.
A reward from me would tell you that I only love you when you do x, y, and z.
A reward from me would tell you that I only accept you when you perform a, b, and c.
It is because you are true to yourself, that I love you.
You will get them stickers, ice creams, toys and trips - every now and then, when the limits to these pleasurable things are understood.
You will get my hugs, my kisses, my cuddles - at whatever times, at whatever expense there may be, whether you are happy or sad, excited or mad.
And about rewards, here’s what I can tell you:
Your rewards will come to you when you paint with all that you see in that crazy mind of yours. That satisfaction of translating your creativity, your meaning across your fingers or toes or mouth and onto a canvas.
Your rewards will come to you when you dance with your heart. That satisfaction of transmitting your soul through the movement of your body.
Your rewards will come to you when you share your happiness, sadness, madness, all of your Noemi-ness, openly and freely with me. That satisfaction of knowing that I’m there for you no matter what.
Your rewards will come to you when you act, speak or dance, that they have meaning on their own. And even when I will no longer be needed or when I will no longer be here, your satisfaction and rewards will come…
from within YOU.