Thursday, February 19, 2009

True Love

When most people think of Valentines Day they think of chocolates and roses and flowery Hallmark cards. They think of too many expectations and too many heartbroken tears and that lonely feeling of being alone on the couch when everyone else in the world seems to be snuggled with a honey.

But when you really boil it down, when you really tear apart what this day should be about, the word that pops to the surface is love.

And love can be about cards and flowers and candy. It can be about the zing you feel in your stomach when love is brand new and the peace you feel in your heart when it's old and comfortable.

But it's also about life. Everyday life.

This Valentines Day I was with my honey. We had a long stretch of time together, half of it alone. But we didn't see the inside of any restaurant and there are no lingering flowers in a vase on my kitchen table. There is just this one picture and a boat load of memories from a night I'll never forget.

Because this Valentines Day I had a long ride in our minivan, alone with just my honey and our sixteen year old boy, our oldest son. He was on his way to catch a plane to Brazil and could not have been more excited. I was preparing to watch a huge part of my heart walk onto that plane and fly across an ocean with a couple hundred strangers.

We arrived, had our usual difficulties navigating JFK, but he made it to his flight, strolled confidently up to the ticket agent, showed his passport and left my sight.

His dad and I had a long drive home, in the middle of the night when the roads were empty because everyone was home in bed after celebrating their own ways with their own honeys. Celebrating this day that is all about love.

All about having enough love for this child you adore, to let him walk down an airplane ramp and into a whole other culture with all its dangerous implications. Enough love to know that it is best for him and ultimately best for you, as the process of letting him grow up continues.

I know he knows he's loved. My Valentines Day was a success.

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