9. LOVE is…Listening to your eight year old daughter go through 26 random pieces of school work and homework from last week, reading the entirety of each page along with the grade, while you are getting ready for work in the morning (“And then here is my wolverine, and the claws aren’t really purple but Jim Bob was using the black crayon and wouldn’t let anyone else use it, so I was all, whatever Jim Bob, I’ll just use purple then and then Jill said…”) because even though you don’t have time for it, she needs to know her voice matters.
8. LOVE is…knowing that on Sunday morning that “Mom & Dad’s” bed becomes “Family Bed” as one by one they wake up and pile in, even the pets. (We get 5-10 minutes of straight happy before the “I’m hungry” Max’s feet are in my face” “Mr. Schmee is trying to push me off” “Daddy’s breath smells.” “I think Rusty needs to go to the bathroom – he keeps pooting.” “I think the cats only want to tell us their food bowl is empty,” starts.)
7. LOVE is…finding ways to make sure you had enough money to eat at the Shrimp Pot because all your wife wanted during her first pregnancy was a good Cajun broil, going out late at night to get M&M McFlurries because that’s all she wanted during her second pregnancy, and just being there for her on her third pregnancy because she couldn’t have what she really wanted – a margarita. (He tried margarita flavored things, virgin margaritas – nothing worked – it was CRAZY.)
6. LOVE is...getting up early almost every Sunday morning because the kids and the grand-kids will be over around 1:00 (plus other various relatives) and brunch or lunch needs to be made and the yard needs to be mowed. (My parents=best parents ever.)
5. LOVE is…being okay with the fact that your 13 year old won’t talk to you about his recent break-up and not pressuring him to talk about it, even if he never does.
4. LOVE is…going to Buffalo Wild Wings because that’s the only place your child wants to eat for his birthday knowing that the only thing you can have there is a dinner salad.
3. LOVE is…taking your boys to their first real concert because they love The Avett Brothers and explaining to them as they worry about drunk people and bar fights that you have been to a gazillion concerts and not once have you seen a fight or horribly drunk people, only to have some crazy drunk guy vomit next to them within 15 minutes of arriving and then the oldest pats you on the back and says, “It’s okay, Mom, we’ll all pretend like that part didn’t happen.”
2. LOVE is…sitting with the same boys in the car parked at The Avett Brothers venue while they sleep so your wife can stay inside to watch the rest of the show with her sister and brother-in-law even though you like the Avett Brothers just as much as she does.
1. LOVE is…a choice, not a feeling. You have to choose to love your spouse, your kids, your family, even though they are acting like morons. Why? Because they love me even when I’m acting like a moron. WAIT – I MEANT YOU – THEY LOVE YOU WHEN YOU’RE ACTING LIKE A MORON. So, yeah. I meant you.