Our family was sitting around the kitchen table eating our traditional Sabbath brunch — pancakes. For us Sabbath brunch without pancakes is like a movie without popcorn. I slowly looked around the table at my wife, my son and then each of my two daughters. I thought of how special each one of them is to me and became lost for a moment in the simple enjoyment of this thought. I then did my best to express to my wife and children their preciousness and value to me. And next thought how much more often I should do this.
Focus for a moment on your relationship with each of your loved ones. How often do you let them know and feel that they are precious to you simply because they exist — not precious because of something valuable they've done, but simply because they are who they are. Unconditional regard — cherishing. Dozens of times I have sat on the edge of my son's bed and, as we were going through the "tucking in" ritual, have simply said to him, "I am happy you are my Dewey." Not expressing pleasure in his report card, or his good behavior or his triple in the Little League game (although that should also be done), but simply cherishing him as Dewey, a person, a gift from God. We call one of our daughters by the nickname "Prinny." A short time ago I noticed she became enthralled with a cat-food commercial on television. In it a cat "sang" some words to a song that went something like this: "What's so special about Special Dinner? It's got the special taste of m-m-milk." Later that night when Prinny was resting I came up to her and sang: "What's so special about special Prinny? She's just special." It's as simple as that. She's just special. You should have seen the expression of delight on Prinny's face. Cherishing. So many ways to express it. One of my friends talks with a gleam in his eye when he tells of a game he plays with his son. It's the "I bet I love you more than you love me" game. As he puts his son in bed he may say: "Son, I bet I love you more than you love me; I'm older and know a lot more about love." To which his son may reply: "Dad, I know I love you more than you love me; I'm just a boy, and kids know how to love in a purer and simpler way." Then they go on bandying back and forth arguments as to why their love is "more."
Cherishing. Do it your own special way with your loved ones. My friend's way or my ways are no better or no worse than your unique ways. The important thing is that we express in our own special ways the "apple of the eye" feeling we have for those dear to us. Cherishing — special feelings expressed in special ways.