How many times have you heard the words, "I love you.."? Whispered softly in the dark. Called out into the wind. Greeting you at sunrise. Slurred together in haste. Poignant, paused, penetrating. How many times? How many ways? From how many voices? In how many places?
I can't begin to count. Apparently I can't add either. Did you know that 1+1=1?
I wasn't applying the principle of love to the equation. Yet my baby boy knew the answer... before he could write those three words, he knew what "I love you..." really represents. He knew all about fractions and wholes and adding.
On a quiet afternoon, padding around the kitchen with his little bare feet, he begins to list our extended family members. Carefully he counts each one on his fingers. Each time he names himself and me last. As he does, he only raises one more finger. He only adds one number to the tally.
I start to correct him. I choke on the words... realizing my error. I'm not applying the love principle. I count our family members with him again. When we come to the end I say, "Mommy..." as he quickly chimes in , "...and me!" as if "Mommy and me" is one word. (Which happens a good bit here with their soft, sweet southern drawls.) Both of us raise just one more finger. I rest my eyes on his smiling face, his tousled curls, his dancing eyes... drinking in this moment that I might remember it always. I smile back. We are beyond eyes. We see one another's hearts.
I scoop him into my arms. So full. "Are we one person, little man? Do you and Mommy make one?"
"Mmmm...hmmm...." he hums with a grin and a knowing glance, before he hops down, bounding out of the door to play.
I like this new math. I've often said I learn as much or more homeschooling my boys than they learn. If I never retain another lesson, I will be forever grateful for this one gem taught to me by a three-year-old sage.
Two halves make a whole. Your better half. Two become one. Too many clichés. How many times do we say that we wouldn't be complete without someone else... and even feel it... believe it... but do we live it... moment by moment... without so much as a thought? How many fingers would you hold up?
The love principle.
I love it.