My kids and I have a routine that happens whenever one of us says, “I love you”. The response is never a simple, “I love you” or the standard, “I love you too.” The response is always (ALWAYS) “I love you more“.
(Close friends of mine have been subjected to this response as well whenever we email. If they throw out a “Love you!” I always (ALWAYS) lob back with, “I love you more“. Because I do.)
One example of this exchange occurs during the bedtime routine with Miss Emily. We will read a story and pray about all of the things she is thankful for. I will tuck her in, kiss her (Sweet, chubby) cheek and say, “I love you.” She replies with “I love you!” Then, as I walk towards the door, I throw out an, “I love you MORE.”
Her: “I love you more.”
Me: “I love you more.”
Her: “I love you more more more.”
Me: “I love you more more more.”
Her (as I’m closing the door): “I love you more.”
Me (Swinging the door back open): “I love you more.”
This happens every. single. night.
The day that it doesn’t happen will see me as a weeping, crumpled mess on the floor. I said as much elsewhere and so many people replied that they still have this routine with their parents, decades later. It (made me cry, and) gave me hope that we can keep up this up until infinity.
Without going into details that will hurt anyone else, I am incredibly thankful for and in love with my kids for a reason. They are everything I wished I could be when I was a kid myself and they are a thousand times more amazing than I ever dreamed them to be. I simply cannot believe that these three beautiful beings have been entrusted to me. I catch myself looking at them and wondering how and why and what the heck?
I love you more only scrapes the surface of what I feel when I when I look at them, but it is the only way I know how to articulate it. Because I do. Love them more.