Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. – Maya Angelou
Forty-two days ago, Lily and I took you to get your ears pierced. Your father and I randomly decided that eight seemed like a good age, and so during a break in the rain, squeezed in between errands and a workout, you, me and Lily headed to the tattoo parlor.
Of course, the wait was more than an hour, and after the grumbling (from all three of us), we decided to walk around the corner for an afternoon ice cream. We left our contact info up front and walked the two blocks to the nearby gourmet ice cream shop. As we walked in, a gentleman was paying for a to-go pint of ice cream and before we knew it our three scoops of lemon marshmallow were dripping down their cones complements of the gentleman in the plaid shirt.
We sat there, almost stunned by the strangers’ generosity, ice cream melting down our cones. Then, out of the blue, you asked if you could buy strangers some ice cream.
So we did. We went up front and bought a few gift certificates. You and Lily made the rules – they had to be passed out before they called us for the piercing appointment and they had to be passed out to strangers. And so, in the rain, as we wandered downtown Walnut Creek, passing out our gifts, the last stanza of the poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” flooded through my mind:
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
You, my love, at a mere eight years old, instinctively know what Yeats, took a lifetime to learn: That the truths of the “deep heart’s core” are essential to life. I look you and I marvel at your generosity. I admire you deep-rooted kindness. I delight in your creativity. I love watching your newfound confidence emerging. I look forward to our Saturday morning bike-rides and I love watching you on the ball field.
At night, we have started a new little ritual. After I tuck in your sisters, I sneak into your room and climb into bed. I pick up my book (the one that you have chosen for me to read from your books) and we read together for a few minutes. I read my book, and you yours. We sometimes talk, and we always snuggle, and when I finish my chapter, I always lean over for one last goodnight kiss and I always hear your heart whisper to me with every beat: love, love, love.
I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all the water in the ocean.