What does love really mean?
As far back as 1945, Art Linkletter pioneered the art of tickling America’s funny bone through radio and TV.
The man had a keen sense of how to make us laugh, especially when it came to interviewing children where he would ask a simple question and wait for a funny answer.
Linkletter’s radio show, House Party, and television series, Art Linkletter’s House Party, together aired mostly five days a week from 1945 to 1969.
Decades later, Bill Cosby revived that comedy routine with “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” It aired on CBS for three seasons (1998-2000).
Those two TV shows came to mind recently when my buddy, “Big Dan” Vinson of Knightdale (the brother-in-law of my late sister) emailed me a bit entitled – “What love means to a 4-8 year old.” Hope you enjoy these touching words from the mouth of babes as much as I did.
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.
“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Rebecca – age 8.
“When someone loves you the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Billy – age 4
“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” Karl – age 5
“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” Chrissy – age 6
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” Terri – age 4
“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay.” Danny – age 7
“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.” Emily – age 8
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” Bobby – age 7
“If you want to learn to love better you should start with a friend who you hate.” Nikka – age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet.)
“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.” Noelle – age 7
“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” Tommy – age 6
“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.” Cindy – age 8
“My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.” Clare – age 6
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” Mary Ann – age 4
“When you love somebody your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” Karen – age 7
Of all these great answers, the best one was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap and just sat there. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-332-7207.