This morning I watched my neighbor go outside in the early morning and start up her husband's truck. While it warmed she went around and scraped off the ice on the windshield and other windows. Although I've never her seen her do this before--I always see him doing it--I was curious to watch how it played out. She went back inside the house, and when her husband walked out the door and smiled at his warm, ice-free truck, I smiled too.
That's love, I thought. I know my neighbor well enough to know she was doing something sweet, something romantic. Tomorrow is one of the most lovely days of the year. Sure, Christmas and Thanksgiving are great. But the one that's just sweet and thoughtful and reminds us to celebrate love? Valentine's Day wins. It's why I send out Valentine's Day cards instead of Christmas cards. I'm really not all that romantic, but Valentine's Day isn't just about romance, it's about telling people you love them.
As I watch Jules learn how to give us kisses, and see Sydney's attempts at teaching Jules how to hug, I am reminded that children aren't born knowing how to love.
They are born needy. They are born hungry. They are born crying. They aren't born loving you.
That's my job. To teach my girls how to love. We taught Sydney to say, "I love you," by saying it her to every day over and over. I taught Sydney to give me kisses, to snuggle next to me, to kiss my cheeks with her eyelashes. Now, on her own, she gives me unprompted hugs. She kisses me in the morning when she climbs into bed with me, throws her leg across my stomach, wraps her arms around my neck, tucks her head into my shoulder and whispers, "I love you, Mommy," before going back to sleep. It's one of the best parts of my day.
I love my children, and love teaching them how to love me back.
And I love my husband, who knows how to love me better and more than anyone. I don't have to prompt him to say "I love you." Don't have to ask for kisses. Occasionally have to hint for foot rubs. Still. He's nearly perfect.
Even a month and a half after our trip to Maine, my heart still warms at those memories. The Monday morning we drove from Camden to Logan Int'l Airport in Boston, it snowed and snowed and snowed. The roads were quiet, and Alicia Keyes' new album played in the CD player. I took out my camera, and captured a video of it just so that I could always watch it and remember that moment: my favorite song, with my favorite guy, giving me a smile as we drove away from one of the best weekends of my life.
I doubt anyone else will find the video as perfect as I do, shaky footage and all. On the surface it just looks like a trip down a snowy road, with music in the background. But to me, I watch it and smile because it looks and sounds like love might look. Yes. Just exactly like that.
Have a lovely Valentine's Day.
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