Things got real the other night during an outing with a few of my guy friends. It started off casually enough but before the evening was over we were sitting around a table sharing heartfelt stories and life-lessons. I’ll admit, it was probably my own estrogen level that tipped the scale. While most of the fellas there would chalk it up to cigar smoke and dusty vents, I’m sure I saw a few eyes glazed over as thoughts were shared. All kidding aside, I was recalling the memory of my father who passed away on September 1st of 2010. In all the years that I’d known him, he must have told me that he loved me thousands of times. That was comforting enough while he was still with me, but on this side of events, what I wouldn’t give to have heard him say at the end, “Son, I know you love me too…”
It wasn’t until after saying goodbye to him for the last time that saying, “I love you” wasn’t enough for me. I needed to know that he believed it! To be sure, I was absolutely obnoxious growing up. I’m quite positive that I gave my father every gray hair he ever had. I wasn’t prepared to think that somewhere along the way my affection might not have been clearly communicated. Being caught off-guard and a little surprised by this emotion, I now choose to make it a point to tell my children from time to time, “No matter what happens, always know that I know you love me.” I let them know how much it encourages me to know they care for me. They need to know their love for others is effectual and appreciated.
TL;DR – It strengthens others when they know their love is received.
If you’re going to have a strong opinion on something, make sure it’s one worth fighting for. You may never know the quality of friends you’re passing over in order to remain right.
There’s a reason why this image absolutely crushes me. It’s a short exchange between my daughter’s iPod and my iPhone. The twist? I wasn’t a part of this conversation. She texted me and when I didn’t respond in a timely manner she found my phone and responded to herself.
Anyone who knows me realizes that there are no deficits of “I love you’s” between me and my children, but there are moments when they need to hear it at precisely the right time. I went and whispered this in her ear while she was sleeping but what I wouldn’t give to have sent this at 8:01 PM. This was her way of saying that she wanted to hear from ME and I intend to let her know that I’ve heard her loud and clear.
All that being said, If my son ever catches wind of this he’ll start texting himself from my phone with things like, “Hey, more video games!” I’ll need to play this carefully.
TL;DR – Pay attention to the ones you love. Gauge their love tank and make sure to fill it regularly with things that are meaningful to them.
When we were little, my cousin and I thought it would be a great idea to grow chickens. I mean, seriously, can you really ever have too many? I remember distinctly going to the fridge, grabbing a dozen eggs, and taking them to the back yard. He dug the hole, I placed the eggs. After covering them with dirt and realizing it was 40 degrees outside, we knew we’d need a way to keep them warm. I remember thinking that my mom’s comforter was perfect for the job so I placed it over the dirt pile. After digging the eggs up every 90 seconds and shaking them to hear the baby chickens inside, we finally gave up due to inclement weather. This is a memory I’ll never forget. Looking back, however, the true magic was my mom allowing this nonsense to happen. We were poor… much too needy to throw food away. In her patience, she poured out some extravagant love and allowed us this little science experiment knowing full well that we would fail. Was she spoiling us? Absolutely not. She made a calculated investment into our lives, allowing us to feel the thrill of exploration. Everything I know about extravagance comes from a mother who refused to stop giving. It cost her a dozen eggs, but helped us create a memory that will never be forgotten… plus, if we had succeeded… More eggs!
TL;DR – Don’t be afraid to be wasteful with the ones you love. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot