I know what love is and how it feels. But being in love is an entirely foreign concept. I can’t imagine spending my life with only one person and never doubting that commitment.
Usually kids hear of this love through the stories about their siblings and their boyfriends and girlfriends. Or they see it everyday through the kisses shared by their parents. In the 16 years I have lived, I have never once seen my parents kiss. The internationally recognized symbol of the unification of a couple was something my mum and dad had never shown.
I see them embrace one another after a long day at work and sit closely on the couch as they watch T.V. with small, secret smiles -how do I know these actions are driven by love? I, too, have hugged someone so tight I could feel their heart beat and sat, smiling, next to someone on a worn out couch but these moments weren’t driven by intense emotions.
I question why these polite acts of like are the only passionate acts of love my parents display.
I’ve come to one conclusion: they aren’t.
I know my dad loves my mum because of the way he holds her shoulder on long car rides. I know my mum loves my dad because of how she throws her head back, consumed with laughter, after hearing one of his terrible jokes.
I see her unwavering love when she checks to see if he wants her to wait to have dinner, so they can sit down and have it together. I see his complete devotion when he begrudgingly insists on her eating, just so she is not left hungry in wake of his absence.
Two people have never looked at one another the way they stare.
I hope that, one day, I too will refuse to commit the one obvious act of lust and, in turn, create a hundred subtle acts of love.