Love has many names and faces

Love has many definitions for Fay Harrison, but all centre around children, families and home.

For all of her adult life, Fay has been loving and supporting a diverse multitude of people of all ages.

As a mother, teacher and now a volunteer, she creates learning opportunities using crafts, books and conversation. Her current project is a Moms and Tots group sponsored by Prince Albert YWCA.

“I love it myself. I love meeting the little ones.”

Fay feels fortunate to have grown up in a family with enough shared love. As the youngest of three, she knew that everybody loved her.

With her mother as a loving role model, Fay has found the freedom in her life to pass on the love, no matter how it is defined.

As a teacher of English language, Fay is keenly aware of how love is interpreted by various cultures.

“There are many kinds of love. English doesn’t have enough interpretations. There is romantic love, filial love, love of nature, love of the Creator.”

She asks, should a passion for an activity be called love?

Fay sometimes encounters unequal and unhealthy family dynamics. She sees the power of “love” used in an abusive way.

“Love isn’t just a feeling, it is always holding people accountable. If I say I love you, we shouldn’t be doing things that are destructive. Maybe loving yourself is enough too.

“You might have promised to love someone forever, but if it (love) is being abusive, you have to get out of there. You may have promised to love but if it’s abusive it’s not really love.”

For children, love is unconditional, but it doesn’t mean giving them everything on a whim. Love can mean allowing a child to figure things out for themselves. For example, many of the mothers in her play group are newcomers to Canada. During craft sessions they step back and let their preschoolers interpret the craft in their own way, rather than expecting a replication of the example craft.

Children may feel that a parent is giving more love to a sibling. But some children need more attention, Fay says. “We all make the best decisions we can for each child. We love each the way that is needed.”

Fay explained the concept of the Circle of Security. “If a child feels secure, loved and cared for and their basic needs are met, they are then able to venture out of the security of that situation and know that the place of security is there.”

Each of us has a deep need for love… to be cared for by at least one loving person. For many in Prince Albert, Fay Harrison has helped to fill that deep need for love.