Monday, February 14, 2011

True Love

I had a lot of crushes growing up, as I know most teenage girls do. I pined over a great number of boys, boys who did nothing to deserve my adoration. If you were a teenage girl like I was, the difference between you and me is probably only that I have all of those embarrassing emotions captured in my journals. While I almost never have time to go down memory lane anymore, it's a blessing where those years are concerned. Some of the want is so raw and so ridiculously dumb that it hurts to read.

I was pretty grounded in that had one prayer for God in the midst of all that teenage angst. I wanted someone, simply, who loved me as much as I loved them. And now? Well, my life is full of those people, some of whom knew me and loved me before I even knew myself.

But there are more. There's Shrek, for one, who has made our love a challenging, yet rewarding and worthwhile, experience. There are our four kids, who bask in my love and give it so freely in return. And there's you, dear reader, who I'm sure would love to sit down with me, over coffee, and just visit, if we'd just find the time to do it.

There are so many beautiful people who have helped to show me what true love is. And that's what Valentine's Day is about. It's not the commercial train wreck that tries to make us believe our lives and love relationships aren't good enough. It's not the diamond jewelry that none of us can really afford. And it's not the dumb heart-shaped hot tub on vacation that will probably end up giving you an infection of some sort.

No. True love is what remains when all else fails. It's the one real letter you actually want to open amid the endless bills that are your mail. It's the four-year-old who knows you're about to cry and leans his head on yours and saves you from your own silliness. It's the call from a friend that reminds you just when you are teetering on the edge of sanity that you're not alone in your pile of laundry, dishes and mismatched toys.

And, for me, tonight, it was dinner at home with my husband and kids. It was perfectly timed garlic bread made entirely by my seven-year-old, my dead-on replication of my favorite retired Olive Garden dish: Chicken Vino Bianco, and the small glass of Beringer white zinfandel I enjoyed with my meal. (Oh, wine, how I missed you...)

And true love is what I felt for my Luke, pictured above, who is struggling through his first head cold. It's my husband on the loveseat, me happily pecking away on my laptop on the couch, the elder kids asleep upstairs and our little one snug beside me in his Boppy, snoring through his tiny little stuffy nose.

It's really not wanting anything more than what I have.

Happy Valentine's Day... May true love find you when you need it most.

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