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It’s the Little Things

April 23, 2012

Recently, I was having a lovely visit with one of my favorite people. She is a young single mother – doing an admirable job with her young son – who finds herself in a relationship with a wonderful man.  They are compatible, he likes her son and he does little things to please her. And, she’s getting scared.

So, I asked her why she was scared – what was it about him that concerned her the most? Her answer: he hasn’t performed a “grand gesture” that she thinks would prove once and for all his devotion and everlasting love.  She’s had her heart broken several times and is gun shy. I asked her what grand gesture she had in mind. She stumbled around to answer but couldn’t really come up with anything concrete.

She then proceeded to talk about all of his shortcomings – none of which were particularly alarming.  So I asked her to fill in this blank:  He would be perfect except for_______. She couldn’t really come up with an answer and agreed that while he wasn’t perfect – far from it – she could live with his faults and imperfections and he seemed to be fine with hers. I told her that was excellent news and that it actually sounded as if they were perfect for each other.

But she still wanted that “grand gesture.” So, I asked her about all of those little things he does for her and for her son.  She began talking about that and the list was quite long – much longer than his list of shortcomings.  I asked her if all those little things added up? Don’t they count? She thought a moment and realized that, yes, they did.  I pointed out that oftentimes folks who make those “grand gestures” aren’t as sincere – because those gestures are for show – as those who just simply do the small and simple things for someone they love because they know that it will please them.

Our discussion reminded me of words from a Carly Simon song, …”it’s the stuff that dreams are made of – the slow and steady fire…”.  After we finished visiting, I told her that I look forward to attending her wedding – even though there has been no proposal. She blushed and said that, yes, that is where she saw the relationship headed as they both loved each other very much.  She then thanked me for helping her realize some things. He’s a lucky man – and I’ll be he knows it.

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