Have you ever looked at your child and just admired?
Just watched him or her in wonderment?
This being, this otherworldly life form who is half you?
I have. I do. And I do it on a regular basis. It fascinates me. The depth of my love for these three boys my wife and I created is truly beyond otherworldly.
While on vacation, you sometimes have time to reflect, sit back, and study your life, of what you have become and surmise at what the possibilities are for the future. For me, it seems to be even more pronounced, as each year I take my family back to my parents’ home in Cape Cod to share our life with them. We have been doing this for over twenty years now. The boys know this town, the places to eat, the best ice cream, the walks we take, and the many activities that summertime brings. In addition, the cousins roll in and out as time permits, and we are grateful for the family we have, no matter the time we spend with them.
Also, we watch as my parents get older and slow down. There are more naps and the need for quiet and personal space amidst the insanity of so many people in their home. While they will miss it when we are gone, I have no doubt a clean and orderly house gives them equal comfort. While I have been questioned by friends and family why or how we could go back to the same place each year and do the same things, what drives me, I believe, is the quintessence of love.
I simply love my parents with all of my heart, and I love my family equally. It is what love is.
I look at each of my sons and I know their strengths and weaknesses; and I am fairly certain they know mine. I relish the times we can still hold hands on walks, play basketball in the pool, and hug for no reason at all. It is simple, it is quiet, it is epic. I am still the dad who they look to for a laugh, for entertainment, for fun. And I am fully aware it won’t always be that way… no matter how much I want it to be. At 13, 11, and 8, I have maybe eight more years of this; obviously less with my older sons. It is a finite amount of time. My role will transition to something different, something I am not aware of at this time. I love my role now, and I am afraid of the role that is coming. I like that they rely on me. That they count on me. I choose to make less income in favor of them. Hours I could spend working or making more money are forsaken. Forsaken in favor of love.
A child needs you. Our children need us.
I find that love for a child is selfless. We need to take the backseat and provide the teaching moments they need — what hurts your feelings, what makes you feel good, how we must feel empathy for others.
This is the quintessence of love.
Originally published at magillaloans.com on September 14, 2017.