It happened somewhere between rock on and hang loose. Somewhere in between being cool and relaxing Hawaiian style came I love you that has forever changed those I love the most…because now we don’t need words…love can silently fill up a room and our hearts with a quick little gesture.
I’m not exactly sure when it happened the first time, but my nephew was young and in a moment of him looking back as he toddled ahead into the unknown world, our “I love you” sign was thrown down and everyone in our family was forever changed.
As he would leave my hug and move into the car seat heading home…when the windows were rolled up and he could no longer hear my words…the “I love you sign” became the family thing. As he moved into his first pre-school class, his mother would stand at the door, fighting back her own tears and flash him a smile and their secret gesture like a whisper between the two without words. As he grew older and braver but still ever cautious and moved further into the world, he would always look back…and any single one of us would be waving…or simply holding up the sign where he could see it. At some point, he started connecting his sign with ours…touching our hands together to say without words what we already knew in our hearts…without words being able to say everything in a small simple powerful gesture – I love you. Like electricity, it carried energy into our very soul.
After a few years, it became second nature to all of us. Often, we throw down our love as we say good night or hug and say good bye. Popping out the sign more quickly than we can get the words out, we make it known often how important we all are to each other. Most of the time, the words and sign are partners….just to give it that extra emphasis…I LOVE YOU. This morning, I sent a text to my sisters. No words…just the photo above to remind them how much I love them and how much they mean to me. My gratitude text…all captured in a sleepy photo.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling the love and getting ready to say “I love you,” feel free to throw down the sign and start your own tradition. From across the room, they may not hear your words but they may see your love…with a wave or a little gesture…put love out into the world every opportunity you can get. Because when you do, it comes back to you in waves.