I don’t like this one. I’d much rather tell someone else everything I love about them.
I’d love to tell me oldest son how I love the simplicity of his life. How the same movie can keep him entertained all day. How he finds so much fun in introducing everyone to his shirt, how he finds it so easy to hug almost anyone, how completely unselfconscious he is.
I’d love to tell my daughter how much I love what a strong, level-headed young woman she is. How I love her love for God and His people. How I love that she cares about people no one else cares about, how she resists, even scorns, peer pressure, and how she still finds joy in the kids’ movies she grew up on; quoting Shrek, Spirit, Little Mermaid, The Incredibles, Bugs Bunny, the Smurfs, and Land Before Time.
I’d love to tell my youngest son how much I love watching him play video games and make up both sides of the imaginary conversations of the people in the game, going on canoe trips, watching him catch a football, safely and properly handling firearms like a responsible adult (better than many), and showing me his awesome karate moves.
How I’d love to tell my stepson how much I love the way his mind works, how he thinks and reasons and plans, how he can memorize and categorize volumes of information and explain it in minute detail. I love the logic I see clicking in his head, how nothing gets past him! I love that he takes time to explain his obsessions to me, even when I clearly don’t get it.
How I’d love to tell my bubbly, vivacious little stepdaughter how much I love her smile, her laugh, the little notes she writes me, and how she lights up rooms. How easily she wraps me around her little finger, and watching her crawl up into her mom’s lap when she’s sleepy, and how she shows me how her doll stuff works when I’m too much of a guy to figure it out.
I’d love to tell my wife how much I love the sound of her name, how beautiful she is, how she makes me see so much more of the world than sad, serious Steve ever did. How much I love and admire her as a person, a Jesus-follower, a mom & stepmom, a professor, a writer, a friend, a wife, and a lover.
But the challenge is to write what I love about me, and that’s far harder. I love my life, but it’s harder to love me. In the end, I’d rather be loved by others than by myself. I don’t believe that “you have to love yourself, first” stuff. I believe the love other people freely give is far, far more important than some narcissistic, delusion, self-aggrandizement.
My kids love me.
My stepkids love me.
My wife loves me.
And Jesus loves me.
I’ll settle for that.