There was a time when you would tell people how much you loved them through claps.
We would ask how much you loved anything and you would tell us by clapping and the amount of joy this brought you was incredible.
It started with one clap and then you quickly caught on that you can add to the claps depending on how much love you were feeling.
One clap meant love.
Four claps meant SO much love!
How much do you love me?...one clap
How much do you love Mia?...one to two claps.
How much do you love that breakfast...again and again.
And again and again and again.
It was adorable.
Sometimes you would say it...
"I love you 3 claps"
Most times you would show us.
And so, the little dance began...
how much do you love me...one clap
how much do you love dad...four claps
and the funniest part is then you would always finish with
mom, I love dad four and you one
as if I wasn't there to watch it all.
I would feign jealousy
COLE! Only one clap for me and 4 for dad??
But the truth is, I just loved it.
Who do you want to go with today?
Dad has to run to the store.
Can I come?
Dad, can we have an epic battle today?
Dad, can I help?
Dad, want to play with me?
And I adore every single moment of it.
See, you are a small version of dad.
You are him, inside and out.
You have his smile, his eyes, his heart, his soul, his messy everything, his love for food, his joy.
And being around the crazy whirlwind you are might be taking your dad down to his knees
but for me, I adore it.
I adore your crazy mess, because it is my balance and reminds me that none of it matters.
And, it's making me fall in love with dad all over again.
You remind me of the joy that I fell in love with.
You make me laugh, your soul is so new, you love this life.
You follow him around.
When he is working on a project, you grab your toolbox.
When he is making food you have to "help".
You play like him, loud and toys crashing into each other.
You get so messy like him, food all over you, always dirty.
You eat like him, always hungry, always needing more.
You sleep like him, tossing and turning.
You can't sit still, like him.
You need to get out of the house like him.
You can't hear like him.
You break things like him.
You lose things like him.
You make people melt with a smile like him.
You ruin your eyeglasses like him.
You have a big heart, like him.
Small things make you laugh so hard, like him.
You love with everything you have, like him.
You are emotional like him.
You love to play like him.
You love a new anything, like him.
You are sweet and kind, like him.
He is your best buddy.
He is your everything.
You have to physically be touching him most of the time.
So, I pretend to be jealous.
I pretend to be sad.
I pretend but the truth is, I could watch you two all day.
I could live on the outside of your little world together and I fall in love with you both, over and over.
So, I understand why he is four claps and I am one.