“Yeah,” I replied barely looking up from the tic-tac-toe game I was playing with her sister.
“What does love mean?” she asked as she grinned from ear to ear. “In your book. In your mind. What’s your definition? Oh, and not the icky kind of love either.”
Wow. What a loaded question for a ten-year-old girl to ask her dad. We were out having dinner tonight while my wife was at work, so I kind of played it off, acting like I was too busy to respond. In reality, I was thinking about how to respond. Luckily, the food came before I had a chance to reply. I kind of dropped the ball on this one tonight. I promise though, I’ll make it up to her soon.
Anyways, as she was practicing her viola tonight, I got online and started looking up definitions people have come up with on the web. Overall, I’d have to agree with most of them. I’m not going to sugarcoat “love” for my children though. As much as love means all those good things that people have written about, made movies about, and made songs about, well, it does just the opposite of all those things too.
Love hurts, right? It feels good though, too. Sometimes when you’re in love it feels like a big giant blanket of “everything’s ok” is wrapped around your body from head to toe. Sometimes love makes you feel like your drifting into the clouds, and all you see is the awesomeness of the sky. If you have a bad day while you’re “in love,” however, sometimes it feels as if you’re falling down out of those same clouds.
“Love” makes people do weird things.
People have killed over love. They’ve fought over love. People sometimes make love. Hmmm, that was probably the icky part she was referring to at dinner.
Anyways, I think the best definition for “love” to give my ten-year-old daughter would go a little something like this:
Love is a feeling that usually makes you smile when you think about it. It can make you feel like you’re walking on air. It can make you forget to do important stuff. It can sometimes cause you to make sub-par decisions with your life. It can also sometimes make you grow up a little and make wiser decisions. You can be “in” love, and you can “love” someone, and you can be “loved.” When you feel like you fall in any or all of these categories, it’s pretty much awesome.
However, when you stop being “in” love, and/or you stop “loving” someone, and/or if someone stops “loving” you, it pretty much sucks.
Basically, love can give you a big, fat, juicy kiss on the lips, or it can sometimes rear back it’s hand and backhand the heck outta those same lips.
Ashleigh, I hope you are wise enough to figure this one out on your own, but naive enough to let it happen to you someday. If it means anything, I’ve loved you since you were just a twinkle in my eye…