Posts Tagged ‘ love ’

Family: A Witness To The Best And Worst Parts Of Life

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

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.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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What It Means When Somebody Loves You

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

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.

You just knew.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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In The End, We Know We Were Meant To Be

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

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.

Like today.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

 

 

 

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Pick 2: Love. Happiness. Kids.

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

This weekend Mommy and I watched a well-acted, well-produced movie on Netflix called Friends With Kids.

It definitely more than earned its “R” rating. However, I still managed to appreciate and analyze the plot line and concept of the movie:

What if two people who were not at all in love decided to have a baby so they “wouldn’t have to deal with the complicated problem of combining romantic love, personal happiness, and kids?”

What if the dad and mom were “best friends with a kid,” but somehow with no emotional baggage and were free to go on with their lives with no commitment to each other other than their child?

In essence, the main characters of the movie (played by Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt) start out their experiment (with human life!) by saying that you can’t really have romantic love and personal happiness and still have kids.

Or kids and personal happiness and still be in love with the child’s parent.

Or kids and romantic love with the child’s parent and still personally be happy.

Obviously, I don’t agree with with those sentiments, but I completely understand what they’re getting at.

Those three things (love, happiness, and kids) are a challenging combo to balance.

As I’ve been writing to you about a lot here recently, I’m realizing that the least of these three is my personal happiness.

I talked about in “To Be More Like Clark Griswold On Our Family Vacations” how so much of what I let bother me is actually rooted in fear that I won’t get my way or be happy.

It’s true.

So for me, here’s the takeaway from the movie. It helped remind me that by default, parents are forced to prioritize love, happiness, and kids.

I choose love and kids, then.. my own happiness. (Or in my case, just one kid… for now.)

That’s not at all to say I’m not happy, because I’m very content and thankful for my life. But if I don’t put you and Mommy before myself, I’m not truly going to be happy anyway.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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Amazing Grace, How Sweet The… Bark?

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

Tonight as I sang “Amazing Grace” to you as a lullaby, you wanted to clear something up:

“What’s grace? Is that a man?”

You had caught me off guard, as I was trying to decide whether or not a second verse would be necessary before I could walk out and help Mommy finish folding laundry. That’s what I was really thinking about.

I replied, “Actually, grace is talking about God.” From there, I paused a moment, attempting to quickly analyze your understanding of God at this point in your life.

“God loves you,” I added.

Your instant response: “Me?”

It was one of the most sincere things I’ve ever heard you say. I was able to see firsthand what it’s like for a person to be told for the first time (and attempt to understand) that God loves them.

Whereas I’ve believed my whole life that God loves me and it’s far from a new concept now, tonight was the night that seed was officially planted in your mind.

The lights were off as I knelt next to your bed, but just the tone of your voice showed me it meant something to you to hear that God loves you.

I continued, “God made you. He wants you here.”

Without any hesitation, you laughed as you declared, “Bow-wow!”

Then you preceded to make truck noises.

It’s a start, anyway.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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