The ability to love and be loved is so strange to watch develop. It is different in all of us, but no less powerful as it is unfurled. I have mentioned before how interesting it is to see the difference in my sons. My middle boy told me last night: “Look Momma, I can do 3 things at once. I can hug you, pat you, and kiss you all at once. I love you more than you love me!” It is a contest with us. “I love you more!” “No, I love you more!” On and on it goes. Noticing that my oldest boy had never actually said “I love you” I asked him about it last year. “Is there anyone that you love?” “I love Raccoon.” He told me that he was not sure whether he loved Momma and Daddy or not.
Such a sweet honest child, he takes these things very seriously. He said “I love you” for the first time this year. Just sort of accidentally blurted it out. And as his class celebrated valentines day something special occurred. He wrote “I love you” on a valentines calender and whispered to me that he had written those words for me. Then I saw him sneak something into my new desk, under the roll-top. It was a sticky note. “I love you Momma!” I taped it to my desk to keep forever. Who knows how many of them I will be privileged enough to receive.
For some, declarations of love spring easily to their lips, they instantly understand the sweet blazing beauty of love, as life grows them they will come to see the slow grinding power of love lived out when times are hard. Some understand the severity and sacrifice of love, and as life shapes them they too will begin to see that love also comes in the soft breezes and gentle scent of wild roses opening to a new summer day. Different shades of love, different little hearts, I see God in them, all three of them. Truly I am in awe.
Question: What did you understand first. Did you see the sacrifice first or the sweetness? What part of love was instinctive and what part did you have to learn over time?