That look of more than love

Ever had that look in your eye?

Not the look of that dapper man staring straight into your soul, but the look of that girl on his left staring right into his heart.

It’s a look made not of love alone.

It’s the reflection of a bond strengthened by truths confessed, “I-love-you-even-thoughs“, and the comfort of being held just as you are.

It’s pizza and wings and Netflix binges, then re-watching 3 episodes tomorrow because someone fell asleep last night.

It’s a look shone brighter by impromptu slow-dances and inside jokes and “yea, you get me” moments.

It’s a union strengthened when two souls become one and two hearts create another. When magically there are two more tiny hands and ten more tiny toes, a head of hair that looks like dad’s and two bright eyes like mom’s.

It’s giving 100% and then giving fifty more when the other has nothing left to give.

It’s nights gone to bed angry and days spent silent, and grace and forgiveness and working it all out in the end.

It’s gratitude that gleams when pots and pans are clanking and garlic is sautéing and you’ve been dispatched to the couch with a glass of wine in hand.

It’s scaling life’s mountains together and backsliding every few feet because maybe someone forgot their hiking shoes (probably me). And pausing to take in all the breathtaking views along the way.

It’s being at your worst—unraveled, split open, spilling over, inside and out—and still being seen as The Best.

It’s a gaze intensified by the once too-close prospect of losing it all—in moments that rip the air from your lungs and the power from your grip, and shake the earth beneath your feet.

It’s a listening ear; a kiss on the head; and arms that hold and heal and steady.

It’s hands that help, that provide, that protect (from bad dreams and from giant fast-moving spiders).

This is a look made up of so much more than love. It’s longing and contentment. Trust and insecurity. Support and surrender. Laughter and tears.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s been too long since I’ve cast this look his way.

Some days I fear it looks more like annoyance; frustration; disapproval.

And I hate that. Because that’s not the love letter I want to tell with these eyes of mine. That’s not the true story that resounds in my heart.

But this look is a rooted one, often lodged deep within, woven into all of the memories and emotions and promises that make it up. And we have a tendency to live our day to day lives on the surface, wrapped up in responsibilities and task lists and too often fail to reach down and set it free.

But even though I sometimes forget to show it, I hope he never forgets to know it. I hope my words tell it and my actions reflect it.

I hope he remembers this look; I hope it’s a permanent fixture in the forefront of his mind as eternally as it’s been captured in this frame.

I hope he always feels it—that this love we have is a so-much-more-than-love kind of love.

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