They may be the most important words ever spoken in an intimate relationship, “I love you”. It can take on a meaning that transcends practical understanding. Tell someone today, “I love you”.
Being born in a Mexican industrial town surrounded by the “macho” environment from my family’s construction business I learned many words before those three simple words. My father summarized his teachings by showing me how to fight and how to work, no love was involved in his big picture.
Now 35 with a 5-year-old son and a month old daughter I can already see the fruits of teaching my oldest son the “rest” of the picture. I surely taught him to share but also how to take care of his valuable possessions like toys, movies, shoes and whatever material items his cousins tried to take from him, without fighting -but being ready to- he learned these lessons. Among this and other lessons I tried my best to help him understand the importance of expressing his feelings, we always take advantage of any opportunity to say I LOVE YOU, and suddenly I realized how often he was approaching me and my wife just to say he loved us. I can’t think of a better family environment than one where actually feeling love and being loved is the base for everything is done within the family.
We always played as an actual team and it became a philosophy for us, feeling good about having an important role in the team.
The biggest surprise came when my father started reacting to this dynamic, the tough old man gave himself up to love, expressing feelings he never allowed himself to show before, not even when my older brother´s son was born or any other significant moment we shared. He was the main proof of what not only feeling but showing love was capable of.