weak-knees and real love

I watched as she leaned her six-year-old self forward, daring to tilt onto her tiptoes in the moment before her fingers grasped the bar above her head. My own knees nearly buckled as I watched from a helpless distance below. In effortless motion, she wrapped herself around the pole, released the bar above her and slid down to my level. I took a breath, smiled and said, "Wow! That was fast!"

And I steeled myself up to watch her do it again.

This is how we are really meant to love, I thought. Not with reservation. Not with hesitation. Not in a way that holds another back, but with abandon, with recklessness, with passion that weakens our own knees but cheers them forward even in the face of our fear.

It is the hesitant kiss of every military wife. It is the feet of every mother as she leaves her screaming preschooler in the classroom. It is the tear of every sibling as they watch the steps of adulthood inevitably lead away from the one family and into another. It lingers longer at the table. It hesitates to pull the car out of the parking space. It fights for courage, and it surrenders to a longing ache. But, oh, how it lives! And loves to live.