I now know how important it is to say it — say it simply — in moments when I feel that heart-palpitating kind of love that comes solely from watching another human being who I adore.
Now at this point, I could wrap up this story with a nice, tidy, Kleenex-required ending, but living "Hands Free" means taking it a step further, going outside the comfort zone.
And it struck me that there is one other person to which this new mantra could apply. It hit me when this person, donned with white bandage on his arm from giving blood, was hoisting a large trash bag as we cleaned the art room at a center for residents with autism.
I watched him, my husband, from the corner of the room where I was dusting shelves with my youngest child. Embarrassingly, I had to turn away so no one saw me tear up. In that moment, I reflected on other recent events where I had been going about my business and had to stop to take pause. Moments when I stopped to watch my husband in action simply to admire the loving person, the devoted husband, and caring father he is.
But had I ever told him in so few words?
It was time.
And since writing is much easier for me than speaking, I wrote my observations down. There were no long-winded paragraphs or flowery descriptions, just words of love, plain and simple:
I love watching you help our daughter learn to roller skate.
I love watching you teach her how to throw the football.
I love watching you help your employees in times of need or uncertainty.
I love watching you interact with your brother and sister.
I love watching you read side by side with our daughters.
I love watching you laugh.
I love watching you love our family.
I typed up his note and plan to give it to him when we have a quiet moment together this weekend. I don't know what his reaction will be, but it doesn't matter. I feel these things, so I should say these things.
When simply watching someone makes your heart feel as if it could explode right out of your chest, you really should let that person know.
It is as simple and lovely as that.
Rachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a master's degree in education and 10 years experience working with parents and children. In December 2010, this life-long writer felt compelled to share her journey to let go of daily distraction and grasp what really matters by creating the blog Hands Free Mama. Rachel's mission is to provide individuals with the inspiration, motivation and tools to let go of daily distractions, so they can grasp the moments in life that matter. Join her on her journey to a more meaningful life at www.handsfreemama.com and by visiting "The Hands Free Revolution" on Facebook. Rachel's book, Hands Free Mama, will hit shelves in January and is currently available for pre-order.
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