But I got addicted… and after that first time, I decided to officially change my format of writing about you, to where I write to you.
Exactly a year has passed since that night I sat at our coffee table and cried so hard, realizing my love for you.
Tonight, I’m less emotional in that sense. Instead, I’m feeling fully grounded in how I feel about you and how I understand my love for you.
Instead of a groundbreaking ephiphany, today I simply am grateful for the gift of peace of mind and heart; a gift the world can not give.
In this moment, that is my life. I think of that song, “On Top Of The World” by Imagine Dragons, to describe how I feel about you and me:
“I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.”
I’m pretty sure we have the same basic struggles and weaknesses as most families out there; despite the religous affiliation.
It’s just as easy for me to crop out the rough spots for social media, as the next parent on Facebook could- and instead, post a geniunely positive photo for everyone to see, as if the cloudy and stormy days never happened.
A strong marriage and family provides a more stable support unit for the good, the bad, and the ugly that makes up what life is all about. To me, that is real love and real life.
I also mentioned in my letter the importance of being the kind of love we want to receive. I told how love isn’t easy; it’s hard work, a true investment- not simply a given.
While others could surely and easily disagree with my wording, that’s how I see it.
And now, as I write this today, there’s a related blog post that is going viral. It’s so viral, it’s currently impossible to look at my Facebook news feed without seeing at least a half a dozen people of sharing it in any given hour.
The author, Seth Adam Smith, is not a famous writer; at least, if he wasn’t a famous writer before, he’s probably becoming one now. He managed to publish a simple, yet revolutionary idea that is totally resonating with people I know.
In the post, he quotes his father’s words of wisdom:
“Marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children… Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
So perfectly said.
I think that like most people, I went into the article thinking it was going to explain that certain people just aren’t good at, or ready for, being married.
Instead, he totally surprised me with a fresh concept: Marriage isn’t for me.
This Seth Adam Smith guy is on to something. I’m going to be mindful of his (and his father’s) words for everyday of the rest of my life.
I wish I could think of a more clever title than that, but that’s the best way to summarize how I see it.
If only it was as easy as two people falling in love and having babies and it all automatically working out after that…
Like marriage, maintaining a positively functioning family is hard work. It’s an investment.
Our lives spent together as a family are enriched because we accept the challenges and mysteries of everyday life together. But being a family doesn’t magically fix things.
The way I see it, a strong family must be built and nurtured. I can’t expect to be completely fulfilled by you and Mommmy.
That would be putting way too much pressure and responsibility on both of you. In the same way, I can’t make your life perfect and complete simply because I’m part of your family.
Being part of a family means agreeing to go through the worst parts of life together with the same passion and acceptance as we do the best parts.
It’s a priviledge, a responsibility, and a blessing.
I don’t mean to seem so fatalistic or gloomy about it, but I do believe that love is long suffering. I believe that’s part of what a family’s love is all about. Yet, I believe that same love is also kind.
And that it doesn’t envy; that it doesn’t parade itself. It’s not puffed up; it doesn’t behave rudely. It doesn’t seek after a selfish agenda.
I believe love is not provoked and doesn’t think evil or rejoice in iniquity, but instead, in truth.
The way I see it, our family’s love must bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.
And I believe love never fails.
Yes, that’s easier to say than to live out on a daily and lifelong basis. I know.
Because love is not automatic or easy. It’s a choice.
Maybe it’s too naive to aim for perfect love in our family, but I do know that perfect love drives out fear.
I can’t expect things just to work out for us because we are a family. I have to be the kind of love I want to receive in our family.
To me, this is what real love is actually about. It’s a little too real sometimes.
This morning as we pulled into the parking space at school, I turned around to you and said, “Daddy loves you.”
You curiously replied, “And Mommy? Mommy loves me?”
From there, you began naming off other family members as well.
It makes me wonder about something I have surely subconsciously thought of before:
Do you really understand what it means for someone to love you?
I think you’re now able to begin processing that thought, based on the actions and involvement of those closest to our family.
You recognize that people who give you gifts regularly are people who love you. That’s an easy one!
Another qualifer is a person who has taken care of you in their house. I’m not saying you can’t love a person from school, but that’s not the degree of love I’m referring to.
The kind I am talking about today is the kind where you love that person enough to tell them on a regular basis; enough to where if you didn’t tell them, it would be kind of weird.
Trying to simply qualify what it means when somebody loves you is, actually not that simple. I can understand why the 1984 song, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” by Foreigner was a #1 hit 29 years ago.
At first, the words to the song come across to me as slightly lame ’80′s lyrics, like they are part of a corny pick-up line. However, I think the words to the song are actually very relevant to human nature, outside of romance: “I want to know what love is- I want you to show me.”
I could probably make a Top Ten list of “What It Means When Somebody Loves You.”
But I don’t think that list would be very necessary. After all, you can already tell me which people in your life love you. You didn’t need an explanation or a list.
I really missed you today. While I was at work, I actually got sad thinking about how much I wanted to see you.
When I dropped you off at school this morning, even though things went great while we were leaving the house, as well as during the entire car ride, you didn’t want to let go of me when I was hugging you goodbye.
That’s not usual for you.
So I got caught in this sort of limbo between trying to hand you over to your teacher, knowing I needed to leave for work, and not wanting to let you go either.
I couldn’t shake off that thought for the rest of the day.
It’s not like something traumatic happened to cause it.
It’s not like you’ve suddenly spent less time with me here recently.
You just missed me… I guess?
I’m still in the frame of mind from a movie that Mommy and I watched last night, and really liked, on Netflix streaming called Ira and Abby.
Basically, the concept of the movie was this:
What if you met the person you were meant to marry and spend the rest of your life with- and decided to marry them the same day?
No matter what you learned about that person, you would love, forgive, and challenge that person no matter what; because you knew that in the end, you were meant to be with them.
Yes, of course, there’s a very real and romantic way of looking at that; like for Mommy and me.
But it also makes me think of you.
I know for a fact you and I were meant to be.
That means we will learn to love, forgive, and challenge each other as long as we’re on this Earth together.
And sometimes, just knowing that, well…
It causes us to be sad because we love each other so much.