Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Beatles were right

We’ve had a crazy week with dusty, costly, last second renovations. Our builder has gone over time and over budget and could seem to care less. Yesterday, the workers left the deck door off our bedroom open, and the room was coated with sawdust. Today, the junior man on the job miscalculated a few cuts, so I had to spend $50 to rent a truck big enough to carry three lonely 16 foot baseboards. Then, when the other carpenter drove a nail into a new piece of door casing, all the power in the kitchen instantly went out. We thought he had driven a nail through the electrical wire.

In the few hours before the electrician arrived, I was feeling overwhelmed. We were broke, in the dark and covered in sawdust. At any moment, my wife was surely going to go into intense labour and have our baby on the spot. I would have to deliver my second son into a world of toxic made-in-China-melamine-laden sawdust. He was going to look like a shake-and-bake pork chop seconds after coming into the world. If that wouldn’t give him cancer, surely the lethal fumes from the paint and the calking would give him brain damage.

Then I had to endure the recent pattern of struggles with my son over dinner (which began, not coincidentally, the day after Halloween), followed by the tooth brushing wrestling match.

Finally, I got him into bed and read him a story. As I was kissing him goodnight, he caressed my face, fixed his eyes on mine, and said, “I’ll never stop loving you, Daddy.”

My heart burst. “I’ll never stop loving you either, my son.”

“I can’t turn it off,” he said.

“That’s a good thing,” I said.

After thinking for a second, he added. “Love is important.”

“Yes, love is very important,” I answered.

“Glasses are important, too,” he said, fixing mine snuggly to my face.

As well as slaying me on multiple levels, this was an almost cliché reminder of what is truly important in life. Time with your children can put your true priorities in order often as you let it.

Tonight also reminded me of how easy it is for children to love. They come into this world wanting to love, and little else. Let your child remind you of a time in your life when loving came so easily.

It seems fitting that one of my son’s favourite songs at the moment is “All you need is love.”

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