As I tuck them into their beds I say, “I love you.”
They say, “I love you more!”
Then I say, “More than what?” and they respond, oftentimes with silly answers like walruses, my math book or macaroni and cheese. It’s a game we all enjoy.
Last night when I was tucking Cate into bed I said, “I love you, Cate.”
She giggled and said, “I love you more.”
I asked, “More than what?” and sat on the bed next to her. Her face went very serious, and she squeezed her little body close and with her head on my shoulder she whispered, “Everything”.
The conviction in her words was precious and wondrous and it’s a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
I started writing life lessons for my daughters. Life Lesson #1 was Listen. Now I want to talk to my girls about the life lesson of LOVE. And this isn’t about romantic love, or love between a child and a parent. No segmentation is necessary.
I think it’s simple. When you love, love big. Love completely. Don’t hold back. Love isn’t fair, it’s elusive, and it’s not guaranteed to be returned to you, but love anyway. Love’s counterpoint is loss and you can’t have one without having the other.
Love is what we must seek, what requires vigilant protection, nurturing, reverence, and humility. It doesn’t come without loss and ultimate vulnerability; rarely does it exist without a fight but it nourishes the soul and the very soul of the world.
Love is everything.
Nothing else matters.