Recently I was talking to my kids about boundaries. Because, you know, with a future school counselor as a mom, that kind of thing is pretty commonplace around here. ;-)
I explained it to my five year old like this because he was having some difficulty with staying out of his two year old brother's space:
"Boundaries are kind of like a fence. Imagine that there's a fence right here. That's the boundary; you stay on one side of it, and Joshua stays on the other."
Isaac seemed to get it, and was especially intrigued by the fence analogy (which, in his mind, became a gate).
A few minutes later he climbed into my lap and snuggled up with me.
"My gate is closed," he said. "But Mom? My gate for you is open. I have two gates."
No matter what, he is always interested in cuddling with his mama. Even when he's ready for a break from other people, he wants me to know that I'm always welcome.
I hugged him close, and he asked, "Mom? Is your gate always open for me, too?"
Yes, baby. Always.