Kiddo, you’re three. It’s time you and I had a talk. I heard you use a word the other day which amused and startled me. Amused to hear you use it so effortlessly and startled because I couldn’t believe a journey to understanding its true meaning could begin so early.
As you’re reading this, assume I’ve just taken a deep breath to compose myself. You said wuv. (Of course, you meant “love” but you said “wuv”.) Actually, I’m responsible. I noticed the curious look you gave us when you first began to comprehend our effusive fawning. You weren’t speaking much at the time but I’m sure you stored it away for future use. A few months later, here we are. I say it to you and you selflessly reply with a cheery air “I wuv you too!”. What does it mean to you? It probably means a patient ear, unconditional support, clean clothes and food right now. (Actually, that’s everything you’ll ever really need.)
As you get older your peers, and even I, will complicate your life by introducing the joy of inanimate objects. Trains, cars, airplanes, zippo lighters, bikes, stamps. That is a different kind of wuv. It is a wuv which is one-sided because those objects stoke your passion but they take a lot out of you in terms of time and money and they don’t say “I wuv you” back. Carefully choose where you invest your passion.
Notable exceptions are books and music. They’re not inanimate. They give back in indescribable ways. Wuv them with
all your heart because they will see you through good times and bad.
There will come a time when your friends will mean everything to you. You’ll even wuv them more than us, and that’s OK. You’ll know a good friend from a friend when they wuv you for the person you are. That is a wuv of support, steadfastness and camaraderie. Just like the music and books I spoke of, they’ll support you through the challenges of life.
Then one day you’ll be really really courageous and you’ll say “I wuv you” to someone else. Just like those inanimate objects, they may not say it back. Don’t let it get to you. Don’t be afraid of saying it again. Let me also clarify I’m not the best person to dole out this advice. I’ve been a failure in this department, in fact, responding in the positive when someone else finally said it to me out of utter frustration. Nonetheless, that is a different kind of wuv, because you’ll be doing things for someone else, and they for you.
But do remember, no matter when you say it, or whom you say it to, always say it with the same cheery conviction I hear today. And keep it unconditional.
We wuv that you wuv us. We wuv that you wuv. We wuv you too.