So that song is stuck in my head now. Hope it’s stuck in yours as well. It’s a great one. You’re welcome.
So ’tis the season of love. Some love it, some hate it, some think it’s a “Hallmark Holiday”, and others feel as though corporations have bulked it up on steroids and are making money at love’s expense. “Love should be celebrated everyday,” they say. It’s the same principle as Christmas, right? That Christ should be remembered and praised everyday. I totally understand the thought, but let’s get real, wouldn’t a daily celebration of love, the way it’s done on Valentine’s, be EXHAUSTING? Could you imagine? Wouldn’t the classy dinners, flowers, chocolates, babysitters, and gifts break the bank? Not to mention those non-monetary gifts, the ones most parents have to either schedule in or become extremely creative to make happen (if you know what I mean)? Nobody has time for that! Not every single day.
I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s day but, let’s get off its back for a moment. It’s a day some couples like to use to magnify their love, doesn’t mean they don’t love every day. Sometimes I’m lucky if I get to brush my hair everyday, let alone magnify my love times a thousand (plus dinner and a gift).
Everyone celebrates the day a little differently. Some, not at all. Just like people love and show love differently. And NOW to my point. Love. Let’s talk about it. There are different kinds of love. Love for your spouse, love for your parents, love for your littles, love for your friends, and love for strangers.
First, love for your spouse. What does it look like? I’d like to think it looks like a husband and wife on a beach both swinging on their respective hammocks holding hands, sipping on lemonades, feeling the breeze on their faces while they read a NY Best Seller to-be (because you discovered how amazing it was first). PS. It doesn’t.
Love for your spouse, in my experience, is that quick kiss you get on your forehead after you’ve rung around the rosie and all fell down. It’s the time when the underwear fairy visits and you realize you’re not going to spend the afternoon folding whites. For Seth, it’s when I get him a Mountain Dew with an expiration date a couple months away (apparently he “tastes the freshness”). Really, what it is, is a wife giving 100% of herself to making her husband happy and a husband giving his wife 100% of himself to make his wife happy, and those are the two happiest people in the world. We can thank my dadeo for that piece of advice. Have you ever heard, “Love is spelled T-I-M-E”? Well, that’s exactly what it is.
What is love for your child? We touched on this in our recent post True-Life: I’m a Mom. Love for your child takes just as much out of you as love for your spouse — 100%. It’s time. It’s putting aside the work that absolutely needs to get done in order to drink some fake hot cocoa with your little and her Frozen dolls (PS. Olaf is a cocoa-hog). It’s acting like an absolute fool, dancing in the middle of a store because your little felt the beat and wants to feel it with you. It’s making it home for dinner every day even if it means you have to go back to school to study until 4am to pass the MPRE.
With all kinds of love, in all relationships, it boils down to the little things. Because most times, that’s all we have time for. The big things aren’t the fancy dinners or gifts, it’s a husband or wife working hard to support their family. Another big — sacrificing immediate comforts to properly build your future so your family has stability. Or sacrificing your career so you can be home with your family.
With any relationship love is often shown by the little things — a text message following up to see how your interview went, or a few words of encouragement, or a simple “Love you”. More so, it’s being in tune with another’s needs and feelings and when you sense they’re feeling down — because you don’t need to “see it in their eyes”, you just know — it’s sitting next to them, holding their hand, listening to them, or distracting them with episodes of the Nanny when you know they need a break from their troubles. The little things — when your mom or your sister know you’re overwhelmed so they clean up your desk or do your laundry, or when you take an interest in an AWFUL TV show just to sit down with your sister every Monday night, or when your dad takes you out for ice cream because he just knows you need it.
Love is putting someone else and their needs before your own. It’s remembering to consider their feelings and making sure that your actions don’t bring them down but build them up. It’s understanding, it’s forgiveness, it’s support. It’s being a cheerleader, a shoulder, a stand-up comedian when they need a laugh, and mustering up yourself to be a superhero if they need one. It’s being willing to go to battle for them or with them, it’s unconditional, it’s being just as proud and excited for their success, if not more so than if it was your own.
The funny thing is, when you give 100% to your spouse, 100% to your children, and all you can to everyone else that matters in your life, you don’t feel like you’re missing anything at all. When you love, you feel more fulfilled than when you don’t give of yourself at all.
So this Valentine’s day magnify your love or not, but with every new day, don’t forget the little things. Because letting your wife pick the movie on Friday night is sometimes just as much of a testament of your love as an overpriced bouquet of roses. Roses will die, but the way a forehead kiss can warm a heart will linger.
P.S. For fun, Click here to see a history of Valentine’s Day cards from Hallmark. They’re amazing
**Disclaimer: This is by no means an excuse for men to drop the ball on Valentine’s. Some women would like to be wooed at least once a year.