There are some things we hear throughout our lives that have many meanings. We hope that those meanings change as we get older…”I got you” is one of those things.

As kids, when someone says, “I got you,” it’s often followed by smiles and giggles. Most likely a friend or someone dear to us is playing a joke. We were gullible and naïve enough (or they proved to be that sly) and we fell for their little trick.

As we grow older, however, those same words hold a very different weight. Even with smiles and giggles following after, we’re usually more perturbed than not about the fact that our friend has grown older but their maturity hasn’t gown up.

But those same words, uttered with the utmost sincerity and humility can give a very different feeling. When you hear someone you love say “I got you” without ever cracking a smile, it can often convey that everything is going to be just fine.

I’ve been on both ends of this statement. I’ve been without, more times than I care to admit, only to have someone come to me and say “I got you” – meaning, “I’ll take care of you. I’ll see to it that your needs are met and you come out on top.”

I’ve also been the one to utter those words to a loved one in times of crisis. Sometimes it’s as simple as covering a movie ticket or a drink at the club. Other times, it’s been as dire as holding a bat as I frantically helped a friend pack her apartment before her abusive boyfriend returned home from work.

But there is something special about knowing someone has got you. And even more wonderful – when you take care of folks (for no reason other than that’s what’s in your heart) people will take care of you.

So here’s the million dollar question: Who do you “got”, and who’s got you?