A somewhat simple thought tonight as things wind down in our home. The kids are all in bed and for whatever reason, tonight when I tucked my oldest one in and we exchanged our, “I love you’s,” the moment kind of hit a little harder than usual. We say it often in our house. I know my ex-wife does too. The kids hear it all day long. When they stay with me I also make a point as they’re going to bed, to tell them that I’m glad they’re here. I don’t want there to be any question. The younger ones typically smile and pull the covers a little tighter. My oldest nearly always says, “me too.” It’s kind of our way of letting each other know that despite everything, we’re doing alright.
Maybe it’s a generational thing.I’m not sure really. My dad never told me he loved me when I was a kid. I finally got up the courage to tell him I loved him when I was in college. Got up the courage. Can you believe that? Got up the courage to tell my father I loved him? Maybe it’s me, but something about that just doesn’t sound right. It just wasn’t something that flowed around our house growing up. It’s not that we didn’t KNOW our parents loved us. But it wasn’t something that came up in conversation all that often. And so, I made it a point from early on to tell my kids as many times as I could a day that I loved them. There are even times when they’re stomping up the stairs in a huff, mumbling God knows what under their breath; mad because I sent them to their room for not listening, and I’ll yell up to them, “I LOVE YOU!” I usually get a “whatever” back, but I know they hear it and soak it in.
As our relationships develop, and we work our way through this vast unknown of two home lives, I keep reminding myself that I want them to know this is their home and that I’m thankful for the time that they’re here. I think they need that reassurance. Hell it can’t hurt.