“Mom, I’m in love with….!”
I have wondered what it would feel like when one on my daughters confided her first love to me. Would it be a late after date night?
…. in the kitchen…
…me at the counter and her at the table… or on the couch
…clock eyed waiting for the details of that special date… the one she had rearranged her outfit and hair a dozen times for.
.. there would be starry eyes and a smile that couldn’t hide if it wanted to…
. …and pauses. Her words would come out in short bursts like a bubbly fountain…off…then on…then off…then on…
….and twinkles…steady twinkles.
That is what I imagined anyway.
But then…just this morning it happened….
“Mommy…can I tell you something in your ear?”
The soft sweet morning smell of my four year old Eliza enveloped me as she climbed onto my lap. Her lips came all the way up to my ear, tickling it. A few short warm breaths and then,
“I am in love with Daddy!”
Her most important secret ever...now confided. Her brown eyes snapped and sparked as her hand flew to cover her mouth in the classic gesture of excited surprise. Her lips pursed with the secret knowledge. Warm breath in my ear again,
“And he is in love with me too!”
“He told me”.
She fell happily into my lap with her face towards me but looking off above and beyond my shoulder with all the markings of young love on her face. Her brown eyes held so much confidence. So much quiet contentment. So many sparkles. The sparkles! How do sparkles like that get into such dark brown eyes? I guess if you have a true treasure in your heart, the sparkles naturally come through. They can’t help it.
Eliza had just sent her true love off to work. She had helped him with his shoes and felt the importance of filling his water bottle when he asked the special favor. He had blown her a kiss at the door and she had kissed her own tiny hand and held it straight up like an Indian. He had told her he loved her and she told him she loved him too. When the door shut and he was on his way, she was up on my lap in an instant, bursting with the secret knowledge she held.
And the joy in my heart was deep and full. What a gift! What a Gift for a girl to know she has her daddy’s heart and she can wholeheartedly give him hers.
He is a Gift. He will keep her heart. He will treasure it. He will go to work day in and day out for that heart. He will stay up late when she is sick. He will wrestle and pray with her. He will come home…again, and again, and again. He will come home and he will be her home. He will be her safe place. He will be steady. He will be her sure-place. He will root her and those roots will give her wings.He will find his strength in God and point her to the same place when she needs a steadying Hand.
I knew my Daddy loved me. Mightily.
My earliest memories are steeped with confidence I felt in the strength of his Love and his reliance on the Lord.
I felt that strength like an undercurrent in every part of my life. He was the Rock I played on, the unchanging stream I pitched my tent near.
And… I knew he loved my Mother deeply. He protected her, he loved and adored her. He would die for her, or me. I knew he was committed to his family with everything he had in this life and in eternity.
I knew that the source of his love and strength was unfailing and sure.
I knew his love and strength came from the foundation of the love of God planted within him.
And because of this foundational love my Father gave me, I have come to understand the love of my
Father in Heaven which is the Greatest Gift he could have ever given me.
Thank you Daddy. With all my heart, Thank you!