Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!
Valentine’s Day—about so many things: love, lust, romance, weddings, engagements, dinners, candy, flowers, kind words, cards, pretty pictures traded on the interwebs, hugs, kisses.
Remember those tiny little valentine’s day cards, the ones that were hardly a scrap of paper, that school kids hand out? The debate I remember was do you give them to everyone or just the kids of the same gender? I remember making my little paper mail boxes and writing names on everyone’s cards, getting to play postal carrier. Who would think a tiny little piece of paper could make kids so happy?
I wonder if they even do that any more. In a weird way, I think stuff like that in early grades teaches compassion, teaches people to reach out, with fewer boundaries, the value in not leaving people out. That everyone is someone, even if you don’t really know them, they come from a different part of town or part of the neighborhood, they are one of the apartment kids and you’re a house kid, their mom shows up for all the field trips and activities, you’re mom is never there, those kids who don’t live with their mom and dad, the kids who transferred in mid year, or at the beginning of second grade. We’re all there, we’re all real. Trip us on the play ground, when we fall and skin our knee we all bleed red.
Love, Actually, is a funny movie. It’s controversial, some people think it is ridiculous, over optimistic and contrived. I’ll agree with that. I think what a lot of people like about it is that it addresses all kinds of love, love between parents and children, brothers and sisters, little kids, 2nd, 3rd, nth time arounds, coworkers, strangers, people from different countries and continents, people who don’t even speak the same language. Easy love, hard love, failed love, new love, time tested and nerve tested.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the love in your life is a romantic, intimate love, and if you got that, it should be everything, and if you don’t, you got nothing. The decision to have love in your life, I think, is yours. There are plenty of people to love. Their decision to love back is just that.
These days, there’s no shortage of love needed. Maybe there is a shortage of love given. If we don’t stand together, we fall apart? I guess it gets tough when it is hard to say what standing together is and we don’t understand what prevents it. Somehow, those childhood distinctions get blurrier and its less just about I’m like this and you’re like that, and more about the experiences we’ve had. And, of course, no teacher there, we’re the teacher, we’re the grownups in the room. How do you say to your fellow grownups the adult equivalent of, “don’t avoid that kid just because he lives with his aunt and not his mom and dad?” And more important, how do you get them to listen?
To the love all around us, that we give and we get. And Barry White. 😉