The People You Love Most

In the quiet of the night my son asked me to try and explain why boys fall in love with girls. He admitted that there are some girls that he likes playing with, but that is only because they play more like boys do.

I told him that love wasn't something that you could study or understand. It is not something to be analyzed. It is meant to be felt, to be experienced, to be lived. I wasn't surprised to see a look of confusion on his face. It is a bit more sophisticated than talking about superheroes.

And then he surprised me by asking if love could die. So I told him that a parent's love never dies and that he shouldn't be worried. He told me that wasn't it, he wanted to know if loved died because Jason's mom and dad had split up and so had Michael's.

I asked him what he thought and he said that he thought it could. I told him that I thought that he was right. And then he went back to asking me questions about boys and girls and how you know that you are in love with someone.

We talked about it for a bit and he whispered that love makes you act stupid. I whispered back, "you're right." And then we laughed.

I told him that you always need to let the people you love most know that you love them. I told him that when he was older we'd talk more about why boys and girls fall in love. He said ok, and then told me that he didn't think that girls could understand it because their brains are mushy.

I laughed pretty hard and told him that he'd find out that girls brains operate a little bit differently than ours do. Of course he asked me to give him an example. So I told him that one day a girl would ask him what he meant when he said something. I told him that she would spend time trying to understand the hows and whys of what we do.

He looked at me and said "really?" and I said "yes." And when he asked me to tell him more I elaborated a bit. I tried to explain to him that sometimes love did make you do silly things. And that sometimes when you really, really, really love someone you get nervous when you don't talk to them. And that sometimes when you are nervous it makes you angry because you are afraid.

And wouldn't you know it, that smart boy of mine totally got it. I was pretty impressed.

The conversation meandered a bit and then he told me again that he never wants to get married. I told him not to worry about it and he said ok. Then he told me that he might want to be a father so that I could be a grandpa.

I teased him and said that if he wanted to become a father he might have to kiss a girl. He said yuck and wanted to know if there was a way to just stick the baby stuff inside her without having to talk to her.

Since I heard his mother standing at the door I said that it was always better to do it that way and that talking to girls was a big waste of time. Ok, I almost got through that little speech without laughing, but I couldn't. He looked up at me and said "I know that you were only teasing."

There was a short pause and just as I thought he was going to ask another question I realized that he was asleep. Oy, I can only imagine what other conversations we have ahead of ourselves.


Leora said...

You are a good father and a good listener. Lucky kid.

Doreen Orion said...

Oh, Jack.

That was beautiful.

Yes, I lucky kid, indeed.

Doreen Orion said...

So funny I made that slip! (Forgive me, but I AM a psychiatrist.) While I was writing, I was thinking, "I wish my father had been more like that."
Hence, the "I" instead of "a".

Freud lives.

SaraK said...

Terrific, you are a great dad. Very lucky kid, indeed.

Erachet said...

This was a beautiful post! And really funny, too. :P

Anonymous said...

lovely piece of writing

Veronica said...

I don't think love dies; I think love changes or hibernates or takes a sabbatical or shows a new face...

Jack Steiner said...


I try, every day, I try.


Thanks. And you're right Freud lives. I think that he is just around the corner, at least there is a guy that looks just like him.


Thank you. I am still working at it.


Glad that I could make you smile.


Thank you.


Love takes a sabbatical. I like that. Wonder if I can get a sabbatical too. ;)

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