The “I Love You” Kid

Brave of Heart

Every morning at around 7am, there is a kid, somewhere in our neighbourhood that yells out, “Bye Dad, I love you, have a great day.”

And then, silence.

We don’t know if there is a beaming dad in his ute who goes to work with something extra in his heart because TILYK yelled out, or if there’s a guy in a suit and tie who is scowling at what the neighbours think. We never hear from Dad. Does he wait patiently and whilst TILYK runs out to the balcony for his shout out, or has he already driven off, heavy as the tasks of the day drag the corners of his mouth down? Is there a Mum who pushes TILYK outside, hissing, “Say goodbye to Dad, quickquick.” (Mums are always saying things like quickquick and don’tdawdle), or is TILYK one of those helium children who wake up close to the ceiling and bounce through the mornings?

Some days we smile right along with The I Love You Kid. Those are the days where we’ve had coffee and cooked eggs and the dogs have been walked and the shirts are ironed and no one spilt cereal on the floor. Those days are where we too brim with good cheer and the intention is set for a great day. TILYK is another part of our affirmation.

And some days we don’t smile. Those are the days when uniforms are crumpled and there’s not enough butter and Shitcat peed on the floor instead of the litter and all I can think of is all.of.the.things that I should do. Shoulding all over myself. It’s a crappy mess. (Worse that cat wee). And those days TILYK also gives me the shits.

This year corona happened, and for a time our windows were shut against the morning breeze and each other. We pulled our loved ones close and thought the enemy was a teensy microorganism that was so powerful it could take away the free things: the salty air, smiles, handshakes, dancing, the sound of the waves, the DOM.

And it stole The I Love You Kid from us. Either his Dad didn’t go to work, or he was a little deflated, or our ears were deaf to his lilt. For months we didn’t hear TILYK and we missed him like certainty, especially on the days when the whelm threatened to over us.

So now that the corona life has morphed into something else, we can hear him again.

And on the days that aren’t as glittery we breathe out, and remember that The I Love You Kid is speaking to us all. He doesn’t know it, but all of the houses that snake along this road hear his fierce cry and our cells hark back to a time when we were brave of heart. He reminds us that we have a choice of how free our hearts are, and what pulse we choose to hear.

The best days are when we know that the cry of, “I love you” is meant for all of us, and our corpuscles respond with, “Have a great day,” and we know that we will and we know that we choose and we know that our minds are free.

Thanks Mel, over to you.