I can’t believe I just called a blog post that. What a clichéd title. But this was the question that greeted me at bedtime tonight. Well, it was one of a few, as I tucked my son into bed.
HIM: When’s the baby coming?
ME: Soon, I’m sure.
HIM: I thought she was coming today?
ME: She was due today. But babies don’t always make it on time.
HIM: Isn’t she going to be getting too big for Chloe’s tummy soon?
ME: Well, she would if she stayed there forever!
HIM: So why don’t you just go to the hospital and ask them to take her out?
ME: The baby has to let us know when she’s ready.
HIM: How does she do that?
HIM: Will she knock on Chloe’s tummy?
HIM: Hmmm. Ok. Well, I hope she hurries up.
ME: Me too. Ready for lights out?
I go to turn the light out.
HIM: Wait… one more thing.
HIM: What’s love?
ME: What do you mean?
HIM: What is love?
ME: Well… it’s that feeling you get when you really, really care a lot about someone. And there’s different kinds of love. Like there’s the way that you love your son or your daughter, the way you love your friends and the way you love your girlfriend of boyfriend.
HIM: I know that, Dad. I am 7, you know.
ME: Ok…. Silly me. Then what are you asking me?
HIM: What is it made of?
ME: Wow. Ummm. Want to know the truth?
ME: Think you can handle it?
ME: I don’t know what it’s made of.
HIM: You don’t?
ME: Nobody does, really. We just know how it feels. We never get to actually see it or touch it or see what it’s made of.
HIM: Wow. Never?
ME: No. Never.
HIM: So when you love a girlfriend is it made of a different sort of love than when you love your friends?
ME: Well, we never know what any kind of love is made out of…. We just know how it feels. And it feels different, yes.
HIM: Do you love me?
ME: More than anything in the whole wide world.
HIM: I know that (laughs).
ME: Do you love me?
HIM: Yes I love you more than tennis.
ME: Wow! That’s huuuuge.
ME: I don’t know what the love I have for you is made of. But I know how it feels…
HIM: How? (cheeky smile… he knows compliments are heading is way)
ME: Well, it feels happy. It feels like you’re always with me even when you’re at school. And I know for sure I love you because I’d do anything to protect you and I’d do anything to make you smile.
HIM: Can I have an iPhone?
ME: I wouldn’t do that to make you smile.
ME: Nice try, though.
HIM: Do you know how I know I love you?
HIM: Because the saddest thing in the whole world would be if you weren’t here anymore.
ME: Don’t think about sad things, kiddo.
HIM: I know and I’m happy too. But I just wanted to tell you how I know.
ME: I know. And it would be the saddest thing for me too. But I told you. You’re stuck with me. I’m going to follow you around even when you’ve got girlfriends… and then I’m going to come to university with you and I’m gonna be so totally uncool… and I’m going to tell all your girlfriends about…
HIM: You’re crazy….
And perhaps that is the most apt explanation of love I’ve ever heard… particularly from one so young – knowing that something is so special to you that life without them would be the most terrible thing you could imagine in your personal life.
And I’m sure we all know that feeling or have known that feeling once in our lives….