I’ve come to learn that the look will begin to fade, just slightly. As your children grow older, it may not be as instantaneous or as powerful as it once was. Some parents tend to greet their children with a barrage of questions and instructions. “How was school? How much homework do you have? Wash your hands. Where’s your lunchbox?” And if a parent becomes too critical or demanding, the shine can be extinguished altogether. Maybe you won’t see it again until years later, maybe a whole generation later, when a child lovingly calls you grandpa or grandma.
Time can rob you of the shine. Lovers know the shine. But as time goes on the shine fades. Couples in love that once showed the thrill in their eyes when their love walked into a room, have now become complacent, apathetic, or indifferent due to the stresses of life.
Queen Maker coming home one evening said, “There it is, that look. The look I love. I’ve really missed that look.” I realized that over the years, the look had turned into, “Oh hi, you’re home.” No big deal. Or during my cranky years (not sure I'm out of the woods yet) when I'm sure my look was anything but welcoming.
In our school, we developed long term relationships with our students, some lasting between seven to thirteen years. After class, a parent asked why our students stayed for so long. Trying to come up with an explanation, I realized that we treated our students as though they were dear long lost friends each time they walked in the door. Our eyes truly shine with delight and hugs of greeting are a norm around here.
We both concluded that adults rarely experience the thrill of experiencing shining eyes of love, acceptance, and welcome turned in their direction anymore. Children grow up and daily life becomes mundane. Marriages may be in peril, if the spouse finds the shine in someone else’s eyes. Adults don’t even know they miss it, until they recognize the “instant joy” once again. It was a look that was lost and it saddened me to think that this was the case for many people.
I realized that as human beings we want eyes to light up when we come into a room. The shine has to say, “You’re here. Joy, joy, joy.” People want, or more accurately, need for someone’s eyes to shine, happy, throwing out open hands in friendship or an enthusiastic embrace of unconditional love. I crave it and feel joy when I see it. Queen Maker no longer has to “miss that look” because he sees it every time he walks in the door. Such a simple act to keep a relationship alive and fresh, deepening bonds of friendship and love. My advice is to show all those you meet or love, the shine in your eyes and see what happens.