Words Without Meaning


Once, as William was leaving preschool, he gave his teacher a hug and they exchanged 'I love you's.

The slew of emotions that welled up inside me in that moment are unparalleled.

Anger, frustration, jealousy, sadness, annoyance.

We've gotten in the habit of sprinkling 'love you' around as if it's confetti or parmesan cheese on popcorn. Liberally. Constantly.

The meaning behind each 'love you' gets lost. How could it not? When it's used with anyone and everyone anywhere?

This week Brad and I celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary. As he left for a haircut he said 'love you' without looking up from his phone. It echoed, unanswered, in the entryway as the door snapped loudly behind him. 

How can it be that something so tender and honest and pure has been boiled down to hold the same amount of meaning as 'hey can you pass the bread'? How is it we can say those two words (no longer 3 little ones. the 'I' is now optional), without thinking? Or looking up from our cell phones? Better yet - how do we know when the meaning actually exists within them?

A Challenge:

Stop saying 'love you'.

Say 'I love you' only when there is meaning behind it.

Don't fill gaps with these words.

Always accompany the phrase with eye contact.