I HAVE often heard it said that ``you can love someone, but not necessarily like them.'' On one particular day I found that not only was I loved, but I was liked, and what a wonderful feeling. It was a beautiful day, so I packed and started for the beach with my two young children. We had a great time as we splashed and played in the surf together - learned about sea life and seaweed; drew designs in the sand and caught sand crabs.

After a few hours, exhausted, full of fun, and hungry, we started on our way home. As we walked across the sand, two ladies stopped me and told me what fun they had watching us. They couldn't decide who had the best time - me or the children. One lady told how good it was to see a mother playing not only with but alongside her children; I agreed. I had more fun that day.

After we arrived home, we ate and took baths. I put the children to bed for their naps. Our usual hugs, kisses, and ``I love yous'' followed. But today was special. As I tucked my daughter in, instead of ``I love you, mommy,'' it was with much joy and sincerity that she said, ``I like you mommy.''

On this day I learned the very essence of that ``I like you,'' and it is playing, praying, working, and talking alongside and with your children.

Lynn Scheiern

Arroyo Grande, Calif.

If you would like to share a short constructive experience about family relationships, please send it with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to In the Family, Home & Family page, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. Sorry, there is no payment, and we cannot reply to all submissions, which become wholly the property of the Monitor and are subject to editing.

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