Letters to Holden and Nolan

Holden and Nolan side by side C editedlittle men…

there’s a word you’re going to hear a lot as you grow up.  LOVE.

thousands of songs have been written about it.  love is the theme of thousands of books.  maybe lots more.  pretty much every movie and every television show says the word “love” in it.

you both have heard it hundreds…maybe thousands…of times already.  

but here’s the thing about love.  it’s kind of a confusing word…and we need to be careful how we use it and even more careful how we define it.  otherwise, we’ll really miss the meaning of it altogether.  here’s what i mean.

here’s a list of some of the things you already “love”:

  • sam’s club
  • thomas the train
  • dinosaurs
  • going to pop’s and granny’s house
  • going to papi’s and mimi’s house
  • playing in your backyard
  • 4-berry sundaes
  • making chocolate chip cookies
  • aunt rachel and uncle pj
  • uncle corey and aunt lindsey
  • daisy and lillie (though i’m not sure about your parents anymore…)
  • sunny days
  • dressing up
  • taking baths (that will end soon)
  • being messy (nolan)
  • being neat (holden)
  • going with your daddy to 7-11
  • going to the library with your mommy
  • and you both really love your mommy and daddy

but here’s the thing.  you don’t love your 4-berry sundaes the same “way” you love your mommy.  and you don’t love your daddy the same “way” you love getting messy.  and you don’t love dogs the same way you love people.  

you have to remember there are different kinds of love.

there’s the kind of love that mommies and daddies have for each other.  and a different kind of love that parents have for their kids.  and another kind of love that friends have for each other.  and still another kind of love we have for “things”…that’s totally different than the kinds of love we have for people.  confused?

also, there’s a feeling that people call love, that’s really not love at all.  people call it love because the feeling is pretty powerful, but you have to remember that our feelings can come and go.  they can be affected by the weather and by situations and even by the food we eat.  

that’s why love is more than a happy feeling or a strong emotion.  way more.

there are things your mommy and daddy will do or say to both of you that won’t feel like much like love at all, but i promise you, it will be love that is deep and real.  because, more than anything else,  here is what love really is:  love is doing the very best thing for another person.

it is doing what another person needs.

love is what you do…it’s not the feeling that goes along with it.  love is the decision we make to do right things for people.  love is the choice we make to treat others as good, or even better than we treat ourselves.

and sometimes it will feel really, really good.  and other times it may be really hard for you to do.  but if it’s really love, you’ll do it anyway.  because that’s what love is.

love is what made god let his son, jesus, die for us a long, long time ago.  because it was what we were going to need.

i know it’s confusing, but love is hugging and kissing…and it’s also a spanking and time-out.  love is all those times your mommy and daddy say “yes” to the fun things you want to do…but it’s also the times they say “no”.   love is letting you stay up late…and it’s also getting you up early for school.

love is holding you while you cry after you fall off your bike…and love is also making you get back up on it when you are afraid and don’t want to.  love is keeping promises and not quitting and cleaning your room and helping people that have less than what you have.

and the first time your mommy or daddy says, “…this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you”,  don’t say, “yeah, right.”

grow wise, grasshoppers.

papi

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