I’ve always felt that when you marry this is when you come to fully realize how much you can love someone. When you have a child, however, that is when you fully realize how much you are loved and how you’re perceived, what you’re truly willing to sacrifice (even to the point of death) and what the term “unconditional love” really means.
So when I look into the eyes of my brown-eyed girl there are five things that I see her say. I weigh them carefully in my heart and do my best to respond as best I should. I’m human so I don’t always get it right but I do try because of what she means to me.
I trust you.
This is probably the most weighted message. It means that my “yes” should be “yes” and my “no” should be “no”. Kids can see right through you and they know if you care or not. They know if you’re telling the truth and most of all they know if you have good intentions towards them. It means that when we say we’re going to be there at 7:00 we better make sure that we don’t arrive at 7:01. It means that we keep every promise made because it is a reflection on what they mean to us as parents.
You keep me safe.
I’m all for strengthening her and teaching her to defend herself. She’s a brown belt in American Karate and really enjoys it. Still, she wants to know that daddy has her back. She wants to know that if there is a potential intruder that dares pose a threat that he will be met with all of the wrath that dad has to offer and more. But more importantly, she wants to know that I’m on her side. I want her to grow through the trials of life and while I can’t shield her from them I will always work through them with her and not against her.
You guard my heart.
She focuses on every facial inflection for a hint of approval. Once a word is uttered it can be forgiven but it can never be retracted so I have to choose carefully because the next word that I utter can change the course of her life forever. Life itself will dole out the evils of this world but what comes from me can only say, “I am your daddy, I am yours and I am on your side.” It doesn’t mean we hide the truth. To the contrary, we share it with them but with love as the motivator. Leaving that out is simply destructive.
I’d rather be with you.
Yes we love mom but one thing mom isn’t crazy about is loud craziness and that is exactly what happens when we’re left to our own devices at home. We break out the foam swords and things start flying. We reenact (as best we can) the light saber duel between Darth Maul and Obi Wan. I’m hoping this lasts well into her teenage years! Yeah, I know but a guy can dream right?
I love you.
And by that she means forever.
Lovey – I love you too…..forever.
Leonardo Ramirez is an author of Science Fiction and Fantasy books for all ages. For more info, please visit http://leonardoverse.com and sign up for the blog.