The changing face of love
There is perhaps no topic that's been written about more than love.
Some of our favorite songs are about love:
What About Love
What's Love Got to Do With It
Love Will Keep Us Together
Love Me Tender
All You Need is Love
The list could go on and on. After all, love is a many splendored thing. It takes many forms at different times in our lives.
When I was in college, love was a perfect score on an exam and crisp autumn days spent in The Quad.
It wasn't so long ago that I was a single gal andlove was spending lots of QT with my shih tzu. Love was also a shoe sale at Dillard's, a fun night out with the girls or a total makeup makeover (OMG! Would you LOOK at the shimmer in this eyeliner?!).
Then, everything I knew about love changed when I met the man I'd longed for and prayed for, my husband, Mark. At last, my love had come along.
I was almost 28. It was time.
And cliche as it may seem, it really was love at first sight. The day after I met him, I told my mom, "I met your future son-in-law last night."
And she believed me!
We were married less than two years later. Ten days after our 1-year wedding anniversary, we had a baby girl.
No doubt, love took on a brand new meaning in the form of a brand-spanking new 7-pound, 13-ounce bundle of joy.
Like many first-time parents, our first-born completely consumed us. We were so full of unabashed love for our Eleanor Rose.
When she was 18 months old, I became pregnant for number 2 and wondered how on earth I'd love that second child as much as my first. It goes without saying I had a whole lotta love to give that fat baby boy.
It amazes me how much love can grow, how much the human heart can expand. It just happens. It happens fast and you can neither control it nor explain it.
One morning you wake up and you have a 3-year-old who, immediately upon opening her eyes, asks, "Mommy, what's Valentine's Day?"
She's at that age. I should've been expecting her to ask that. Regardless, her question gave me great pause. "Well, Valentine's Day celebrates love. Mommy and Daddy met and fell in love and that's why you and Thatcher are here. It's all because of love."
That's right. THIS is love. To me, my children are love personified.
My husband and my children - they are my forever love. (Yes, I STILL love my dog - for all who may be wondering.)
Love changes. It takes many forms. It grows and grows and just when you think your heart will burst, the love grows again. It is as boundless as the ocean and greater than any mountain. And it is beautiful and crazy and wrought with all sorts of emotion.
We should "love thyself" first, but let's be honest. The new Facebook "Look Back" video pretty clearly illustrates how narcissistic we all are. Am I right?
But go ahead, love yourself. Love your kids and your spouse and your dog, too. Love that person who cuts in front of you in traffic. Love may not be all you need, but love begets love and there's always room for more.
Me and Mark's first Valentine's Day (2008). Notice how neither of us look sleep-deprived!