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Each school morning, I drive through the circle, waiting for my turn to drop off. I am a mighty warrior princess Child of God and my prayers move mountains poster
As I sit in the car smiling and watching my son fumble around with his book bag (which weighs more than he does) for his water bottle and lunch bag, I secretly wait for what is my favorite part of the morning: his smile, a hug and kiss from him, and “I love you Mama.” That sublime, warm feeling inside doesn’t get any better. The only thing that can perhaps exceed that feeling is replying back with “I love you too Baba.” He then trudges off to have his temperature taken before going into his classroom.
The very word “love” seems quite inadequate in its scope when I consider what I feel when I hear or say that word “love” to him. When put into context with the usage above, other contexts seem almost too excessive. For instance, I may say, “Wow, I love my job” after a particularly fulfilling day of winning a battle in court for an abused child who is represented by my guardian ad-litem program.
The issue is not the context or the feeling of love. Perhaps it is in the inadequacy of the English language to express the various related feelings. The ancient Greek philosophers understood this quite well and expressed love in as many as seven different types of love.
What I feel for my son is what they called agape — a universal, divine type of love. The love I feel for my job is perhaps best described as philautia, which is a love that we extend to others by showing them care, concern and goodwill. I think you will immediately recognize the problem with this whole Greek system — although it is indeed quite a bit more advanced than our common everyday usage of the word “love,” it is at the same time much more difficult to determine which aspect of love we are feeling depending on the circumstance and the subjects involved.