This Is Better Than I Love You

Of course, we try to tell our children we love them. Sometimes they receive it. Sometimes they roll their eyes. Sometimes–depending on how we grew up and what we saw from our parents–even just saying ‘I love you’ can be difficult or a stretch for us.

That’s what makes the line in The Boy The Fox The Horse and the Mole (a must must must read–also a must listen episode of the Daily Stoic podcast) so beautiful and perfect.

“Sometimes I want to say ‘I love you all’,” said the mole, “but I find it difficult.”

“Do you?” said the boy.

“Yes. So I say something like ‘I’m glad we are all here.'”

“Ok.” said the boy.

“I’m glad we are all here.”

“We are so glad you are here too.”

Isn’t that when you feel the love the most? When you’re all there? When you’re surrounded by your kids at ‘the crowded table’ that we’ve talked about? Whether it’s for some special occasion or just some ordinary bit of ‘garbage time’ where everyone is hanging out, it doesn’t matter. This is the best, you think. This is what makes it all worth it.

But here’s the thing. It’s not that saying ‘I’m glad we are all here’ is better because it’s easier to say that ‘I love you.’ Because that’s not really even putting yourself in a position to say it, is it? Getting everyone together is saying I love you. Being together is love. Making time is love. Being present–and not just literally but figuratively, spiritually–that is love. It’s a statement of priorities. It’s a gift of the most precious resource and thing there is.

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