If I didn’t take the time to come into your room at night and gaze at your resting eyes, your impossibly long eyelashes, your perfect cheeks, I might go to bed without remembering how much you amaze me. If I didn’t touch your cheek and say “I love you,” half hoping that you wake up enough to mumble “I love you too,” I might fall asleep tonight without slowing down to breathe you in and recognize the wonder that is you.
Today you surprised me with a hug.
Today you held my hand as we walked down the sidewalk.
Today you told me that story about that kid at school. If I hadn’t put down my phone and looked at you while you spoke, if I hadn’t decided to listen and look and really hear you, I might have missed the miracle that there’s no one you’d rather share your life experience with than me. You honor me.
If I didn’t take the time to look at you when you spoke I might forget how your brown eyes and your brown hair are the most beautiful colors I’ve ever seen. I might forget that you are learning to raise your eyebrows independently of each other. I might forget how, when you take your glasses off, l feel like the sun just came up anew because I see you so clearly before me.
So I will take the time.
I will take the time to look at you when you speak to me, to hear the words you say, and to listen to your heart cry when the words never reach your lips.
I will take the time to admire you when you don’t know I’m looking, to defend you when you are under attack, and to advocate for you when your best interests aren’t being served.
I will take the time to do what’s best for you, even if it’s inconvenient, uncomfortable, or challenging for me. I will remember that once you were tiny and helpless and brand new and I pledged my life to guide you with love, humility, and honesty, and I will remember that a lifetime of guidance takes time and cannot be rushed.
I will take the time to apologize when I hurt you.
I will take the time to see you. Your smile, your tears, your triumph, your pain, your vulnerability—they will be treasures to me, carefully cataloged and tucked away to inform how I am to love you.
I will take the time to be thankful that you are my son, that you are my daughter. That you are mine and no one else’s, that I am yours, that together we get to walk this road.
I will take the time.