Still working to catch up - we'll get there : ) Hopefully I won't totally confuse myself between the actual date and the day of the letter. I'm awesome like that. I had to triple check this post title so pretty sure it will happen soon. At any rate, we are almost back to full speed around here. I think our biggest illness is a HUGE case of cabin fever, not assisted by the lack of school today because of some guy named Columbus. And then there's Q who is still coughing enough to keep me on my mommy toes - so I had to cancel our playdate with their friend Asher today. Hopefully tomorrow we can make that happen, otherwise I do believe we will all go certifiably crazy. Our big outing today consisted of the bank drive thru, the sonic drive thru, and whataburger drive thru. At least I am teaching the kids the value of a dollar before filling their little bellies with chicken fingers. Hey, it's Columbus Day - and everyone needs a little treat on a holiday as fine as this.
Onto the letter.
Dear Ryan and Quinn,
Here is one of the most important life lessons I believe I can impart on you.
You can never, ever say "I love you" too often.
It's simply not possible. And it's so darn important. That's why your daddy and I tell you every possible time we can that we love you. We do, and we don't want you to doubt that...EVER. I am sure there will come a time when it won't be cool for us to say it to you as you are walking into school or running up to soccer practice or going down the street to play with a friend. But sorry, guess what? We will still say it.
Your daddy and I tell each other at every possible turn that we love each other. We never end an email, text message, phone call, or a night without saying it. And then often we say it out of the blue. Yes, partially it's habit. And partially it may be the morbid reason "if I never talk to him/her again, I want my last words to be "I love you" ". But mostly it's because it's true - and to say it out loud, often, is a reflection of God's love for us to each other.
I grew up in a household where the "I love you's" flowed freely. Never do I remember a time where I was being tucked into bed without getting an "I love you". Everytime I walked out the door, it was always said, no matter what. Guess what I never doubted? That my parents loved me beyond measure. Your grandfather, BB, is gone now --- but for the quiet man he could be, he never held back on telling us how loved we were. So I never doubt for one minute that he isn't still loving on us --- just from a higher position with a better view.
I remember hearing a friend tell me a long time ago that her parents maybe said "I love you" three times in her life. And I recall going home that night and telling my parents and asking how could that be? Something that was so normal and natural for us --- surely everyone else did it and said it, right? Nope. Now, I don't doubt that her parents loved her as she did them, but to not have that firm verification, I do believe in a way it kind of crushed her spirit a bit.
So my precious children, never, ever doubt for one second that your daddy and I love you. Never doubt that you are loved by so many - family, extended family, and adopted family. I am so blessed to be surrounded by friends who constantly encourage me and tell me that they love me - and what a reassurance that is. In the end, we all just want to be loved and to give love. No family is complete without that love.
The first time you both said "I love you" back to me, my heart broke wide open. And the first time you told each other "I love you" made me weep with joy. And just today, when I was tucking you in for your nap, and as I always do, I turned out the light, and said "sleep tight, love you", you both repeated in perfect unison "Love you, mom" right back to me. I think it was the union of these small, perfect voices that got to me. I gently closed the door to your room, sat on the floor really still for a good 5 minutes while I let the tears flow freely. Tears of thankfulness, of prayers answered, of incredible sweetness.
Because "I love you" is so much more than 3 words. "I love you" is a promise, it's an action, it's a circle that cannot be broken, it's unconditional, and it is REAL. Tangible. And my children, just like with God, you don't have to earn His Love, you will NEVER have to earn our love. It just IS. It IS because you are ours (for our earthly time here anyway). You will never have to prove or beg for our love. You may do things later on in life that will disappoint us, but we will never take away that circle of love. It is unending, unbreakable.
So guess what? There's no escaping it. YOU BOTH ARE LOVED. Immensely. And one day when you have children of your own, should that be your path, you will understand the type of love that I am talking about (or at least attempting to convey). It is bigger than the 4 of us (well, 5 if you count Max and we love him too!). And guess what? If we live our lives with love and do things in the name of love, it's hard for us to go wrong.
I LOVE YOU. To the moon and back, at least 100 times. Forever and always.