As I tuck Matthew into bed I hear him whisper something, almost inaudible. “Did you whisper something?” I say softly
His big brown eyes look up at me as he says in his high pitched voice, “Mommy, what’s love?”
I look upon him with confusion, “Where did you hear that word?” He jumps up from his bed and runs to his bookshelf and picks out his older sister’s Fairytale book. With his nimble fingers, he flips through the pages and finds his favorite story, Hercules. Amongst the pages he sees, he picks out one phrase that says, “People always do crazy things when they’re in love.”
I smile at him and reach for the book and bring it over to my lap. He runs back to bed and sits, enthusiastically awaiting my response, “well, love is complex if you really think about it.”
So many thoughts run throughout my mind and I realize…I’m speaking to a 5 year old. I reach over and pick Matthew up, I had an idea; I bring him to the living room and bring out a photo album from before Matthew was born. As I turn the pages I see so many pictures that display love, but the first that comes to mind is my wedding.
I take out the picture and hand it to Matthew saying, “when I think if love I think of daddy and I getting married, love is sharing a part of your life with another person.”
Matthew smiles and I pick him up again, I walk into the bathroom and face the mirror before us.
“You know what I think love is?” I look at Matthew, “what!” Matthew laughs.
“Look at your reflection, that’s love; love is looking in the mirror and liking what you see and never forgetting how important you are to the world.”
With a final pause, Matthew looks in the mirror at himself, and says with most certainty,
“I love you.”