Yesterday, Brayden and I (and of course Jojo) were getting ready to snuggle for a late afternoon nap. He was winding down, not ready to close his eyes, and not realizing what I already knew, he was was ready for a nap. He was in good spirits - and he probably could have gone without the nap, but I feared the monster that would appear in the early evening if he didn't get some rest. So, we took our time snuggling and gigging.
Brayden tells me at the most random moments, "I like you, Mommy!" And, I am always a little taken back... "like?" What's with that? Have I been demoted?" Now I am use to it. I just say "I like you too," or "well,... I LOVE you!" Yesterday, after I replied with the "I love you" he said, "why?" Again, taken back... and not knowing just what to say, or how to explain it, I fumbled and jumbled my words and came up with, "You are my son. You are my little boy. You are my sunshine. I just do; that's why." So, after we goofed for a little bit longer until he decided to finally close his eyes and his cute litle almost-a-snore crept in. I laid there in the silence with my little boy wrapped in my arms and thought about it. I looked at him, still trying to answer the question that he has long forgotten he even asked.
It isn't something I contemplate very often. How do I explain love? Especially to a 3 year old. The love for him, or for John, or for our families. I thought of all of the different adjectives that could be used to explain love. Someday, this question will come up again, and I would like to be able to give an educated, sincere, thoughtful response.
I laid there in silence, just watching him breathe. I looked at his hands. Those big hands. They have been big since the day he was born - but, they are changing. When they are chunky babies, they don't even appear to have knuckles - just dimples. He still has those, but less apparent from when he was a baby. He use to snuggle me and fit right into the crook of my arm. Not anymore. I use to tend to every whimper - Now, I wait until it sounds serious before I go running to check on him. He is growing. Parenthood, love, gives us this incredible amount of satisfaction, yet longing to cling to moments that just wont stay just as they are. Love pushes us, excitedly, to look forward to the someday, but at the very same time ache to hold the moment we are in.
1. Love is a feeling. Webster and Wikipedia can try to explain it all they want. They could use all of the words in their dictionary and it wouldn't do it justice. Love is felt. Love is shown through commitment, honesty, dedication, respect, and sacrifice.
2. Brayden already knows. That's why he tells me "Mommy, I like you" or "I just love you so much."
We just feel it. He to me, and me to him, and us to the world. Love is felt.