“I knew I’d be able to take care of you, and buy you nice things here and there, but DANG, loving you is expensive!” -Mike Domnick, 1992
It’s true, love does cost a lot.
It costs moments of insecurity, wonder, risk, and passion. Moments spent fantasizing about a future with a person you’ve just met, or a person you’ve known forever. Moments that eventually become memories.
Love costs holidays with different friends, different family, different traditions, different foods, and in different surroundings. It’s stressful meeting new people and making first impressions. It costs little pieces of yourself while you try to fit into another person’s world. Everything about your life changes when you love another person.
Of course, love costs money too, and time, patience, compassion and understanding, right alongside doubt, frustration, uncertainty and anxiety.
If you have children, love costs years (literally) of sleepless/restless/interrupted nights filled with walking/rocking/bouncing a fussy baby; feeding them, burping them, and cuddling them close to your heart. You help your children sleep, and when they do sleep, you check to make sure they’re breathing. You pray for your children, you hope for them, care for them, and raise them. And you do this together with your spouse, on whom you continue to spend time and moments.
Love costs hours of concerned conversation about bites, burns, coughs, fevers, shots, screen time, vitamins, and milestones to learn about whatever your child is experiencing. Love costs many, many, hours of waiting – for buses, for programs, for appointments, for naptime, for the crying to stop, the sun to come out, or the toys to be put away. It also costs tears, pain, fear, stress, joy, laughter, and gratitude. It’s a wave of emotion that hits over and over again, and when you finally settle in to the rhythm, it changes. Love requires balance.
Love also costs time - to find the right words to soothe hurt feelings, or a bruised ego, or a failed attempt. It costs time reading, coloring, pushing the swing, or learning to tie shoes. Sometimes love costs all your time, leaving little for you to spend on yourself. You give up time with friends, time at the movies, time eating out or shopping or at Happy Hour with coworkers. You miss out-of-town events in favor of keeping schedules consistent. You skip manicures, massages, and spa treatments to afford music lessons, gymnastics, and tee-ball. And you’re happy to pay those costs.
And it doesn’t end when the kids leave home – when you aren’t spending time taking care of them, you spend time worrying about them. You wonder if they’re sleeping enough, studying enough, eating enough. You worry about date drugs, drunk drivers, and sex trafficking. You keep your phone with you in case they need you – and you like it when they do, as long as they’re safe. You wonder if your advice is appreciated, if you raised them well, if you did enough. You blame yourself for everything that goes wrong, and praise them for everything that goes right.
So it’s true, love does cost a lot! It costs everything, and it’s priceless!