For once, we arrived early. We sat a few minutes in the car while you finished your banana and I sipped on my tall, whole milk, vanilla latte with an extra shot of espresso and an extra pump of vanilla! It was total indulgence!
Then, in your usual observant way, you noticed that my coffee had a heart with all sorts of arrows and writing firing at it, “What are all of those words?” you inquired.
One by one I read them aloud. With great maturity you acted as though you understood each, until the last one, “Love at first sight!” You crinkled your nose, furrowed your brow, and asked, “What’s that?”
I stalled for a moment, checking my watch. Darn! There was just the wrong amount of time, too little to come up with a smart answer and too much to postpone until later. So with no prep, my hopes for genius went out the car window and I began to speak, “Well…(pause)…well, Layla…(another pause)…”
You might be wondering why I was finding this so difficult, but the truth is I didn’t believe in love at first sight. Please understand, I love your father dearly and thought he was a total hottie when I met him, but I didn’t love him from that moment. It took a few conversations, a few frustrating, debate-induced headaches, and a few Boyz to Men songs before I realized I didn’t hate him, but adored him! So although I was/am a total romantic sap, it was not love at first sight. Frankly, I have had a hard time believing that “love at first sight” is really anything more than just “the hots”! I couldn’t start with that though so I went the direction of our friend Webster for a more technical definition…
“Love at first sight is when someone loves someone or something the moment they see it/him/her!”
Poignant, right? You looked at me, not completely convinced. I thought, “I know…I know. What a bunch of bologna!” But before saying that, I was hit with another thought. Suddenly, I realized I did believe in love at first sight. It wasn’t a reluctant belief, but an all-consuming, top of my head to the tips of my toes kind of belief! I looked in those stormy-colored eyes of yours and I said with great conviction, “You, Layla Christine, are love at first sight.”
A sheepish grin appeared across your face and I continued, “The doctor placed you in my arms…all wrinkly and covered in goop…and I loved you.” It’s true. It was the most sudden rush of emotion in the shortest span of time your father and I had ever experienced. We didn’t need to get to know you– your personality, your strengths, your weaknesses, whether or not you were compatible with us, or that you would refrain from those teenage years of despising us as your parents. None of it mattered. All we knew was we loved you!
In all other scenarios and love relationships in my life, the love came second. It was a result of something else. With you, the love came first. The knowledge about who you are, what you’re like, and what floats your boat and what doesn’t continue to be revealed, but one thing remains and always will, our love for you comes first!