This I Believe

Elizabeth - Traverse City, Michigan
Entered on May 22, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude, love

Too Often Gone Unsaid

“Some things are better left unsaid.” This may be true if that dress really DOES make her look fat. But some things need to be said at all times. I believe in saying “I love you”. Not just to say it, but to MEAN it. And saying it doesn’t happen enough.

I grew up in a house where saying “I love you” was a rare occasion. I may have heard it on my way up to bed, but not very often. After my parents’ divorce I heard it every other night when I’d get off the phone with my dad, but never did it come from my mom. The family I LIVED with, meaning my mom and half-brother to whom I choose not to relate myself at times, are very cold and difficult to be around. But the family who RAISED me didn’t only say “I love you” every day, but they MEANT it in everything they taught me – both in AND out of the classroom.

The best parents I ever had were my teachers at school. Teachers always reassure their students that they love them. I remember being in the class and having teachers constantly asking me if everything was okay, or how things were at home because they cared about my wellbeing. On recess, the teachers didn’t just make sure we weren’t beating each other up, but they interacted with us. Outside of the school setting, I had teachers that cared about me, and told me that every day.

I have grown very close to my teachers. Whether it is our relationship, or a bond I have with their children, my teachers are always present in my life in more than one way. Some of my teachers have “adopted” me as their own. We buy each other birthday, and Christmas gifts. I would not have this special connection with them if they hadn’t told me they loved me.

“I love you” is never said enough. If you love someone, tell them, because even though he or she knows it, we all need to hear it constantly. Even saying goodbye on the phone, a casual “I love you” is never a bad thing. I say it to virtually every person I talk to, from my dad, to my best friends, to the people I baby-sit for. If I am giving a hug to my students in the elementary school, I always kiss the tops of their heads and tell them, “I love you, have a good day”. Even though they may squirm, deep down, I know it’ll help them like it’s helped me.

Not many people know the hardships I have faced, but having a friend or teacher tell me they love me always gave me something to look forward to the next day. There would be days I didn’t want to wake up, but because Miss So-and-So told me she loved me, I wanted to get up and tell her the next morning, “Hey, I love you, too.”