Love That You Can’t Buy, Thank God For Kids

The Oak Ridge Boys.  Remember them? An amazing country-gospel group of guys that continue to make fabulous music.  You might remember, “Elvira – oom-pappa-oom-pappa-oom-pappa-mow-mow”

At this time of year, I find myself singing their song, “Thank God For Kids.”

For some reason, the words send shivers up my spine and tears flow.  I think it’s because of the power in the words, and the realization that we are all children, when we choose to set aside our grown-up agendas, attitudes, limiting beliefs, and egos – to be genuine and love-full.

The song says,

When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize, there’s a love that you can’t buy, thank god for kids.”

I recall times in our early days of marriage, when we were very near the bottom regarding the quality of our relationship.  We were struggling.  Communication wasn’t happening. In my avoidance of conflict, I was spending more and more time working on the farm, and less and less time around Carol and our young sons.  I felt unloved, unlovable, and didn’t know what to do to make it better.

Yet when I finally came home late at night, I’d quietly sneak into Jamie and Brad’s bedroom and just look at them.  Occasionally, one of them would open his eyes, look at me for a moment, smile, and then fall back asleep.

When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize, there’s a love that you can’t buy, thank god for kids.

I knew that Carol and I were teaching those innocent young men how to behave in their relationships when they grew up.  We were the role models they loved. When I imagined out into the future, I didn’t want them to have what I was experiencing.

I believe this realization was significant in helping me begin to make some changes in myself. I committed to myself to visualize those smiles and eyes as a reminder of why I was doing the hard relationship work.  I slipped – lots.  Yet, when I caught myself, I’d pause, take a deep breath or two, picture Jamie or Brad’s eyes in my mind, and make more positive choices in my next thoughts, words, and actions.

When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize, there’s a love that you can’t buy, thank god for kids.

As we worked on ourselves, and worked together, our relationship transformed as the trust and trustworthiness was built.  When I looked at Carol, I saw those trusting eyes and the love that you can’t buy.

In later years, I became our community’s Santa Claus.  I’d don the red suit and visit concerts, senior’s facilities, and family gatherings to be the jolly elf. I was always brought to tears to see the innocence, joy, purity and love in the eyes of everyone who sat on my knee, young or old.

When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize, there’s a love that you can’t buy, thank god for kids.

As I continue to build relationships personally and professionally, I strive to set aside my own stuff, so that I can see those trusting eyes in everyone I encounter. We’re all children, even though some of us have seen a few more revolutions of the sun.  Even though it seems hard at times, there is always a love that you can’t hide and you can’t buy.

I wonder if what I see is also a reflection of my own eyes. Hmmm

I’m curious to know about you, whether it is Christmas or any other time of the year. 

What might happen in your relationships, if you set aside your own perceptions, agenda, ego, and past experiences, so that you can look at your spouse, partner, children, and colleagues in a new, fresh way, as if it were the first time you met?

What might happen to the quality of your relationships if you truly saw the love that you can’t buy?

It’s true, isn’t it?

When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize, there’s a love that you can’t buy, thank god for kids.

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