I love you too.

We went to church as a family this morning on Mother’s Day. It was a gift to be sitting together for a quiet moment during a busy spring weekend. Today’s second reading and gospel reading were from the book of John (John 4:7-10 and John 15:9-17). I always look forward to hearing readings from the book of John because they are centered around love. John is love. Father Ken’s homily eloquently wove those two readings together but one part of his homily really spoke to me. He said that often times a child learns to say “I love you too” before he says “I love you” and usually this exchange is between a mother and her child.

This is profound because learning to say “I love you too” first means that a child is responding to love that is already initiated. How beautiful to imagine a child being loved so unconditionally that they reflect that love back.

I am a mother of two boys and I can still feel them cradled in my arms as tiny infants. I can still smell their sweet scent and feel their downy softness and I can still remember whispering “I love you”. I told them I loved them before they knew words. I know that I was showered with this kind of love and I still feel it. I know I’ve said “I love you too” but it’s always worth repeating.

Mom, Dad: I love you too.

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