Monday, February 24
Shall we start things off by talking about Valentine’s Day cards? Good enough place to start I think. How was your V-day by the way? I hope that at the very least, you got yourself a box of sweethearts and gave the ones that say "text me" to all your loved ones and significant others. Really spread that love around. Valentine’s is not usually my thing. I’m a 4th of July/Christmas person. Have I ever told you that I’m mildly disenchanted with getting flowers in general? I would much rather pick them out myself and bring them home in a brown paper bag. But somehow this holiday makes a complete 180 once your kid becomes old enough to start participating in cut-out hearts and coloring his own Valentines. Such is the case! We made Tyson a poster sized Valentine this year. A portrait of sorts, of his whiskered daddy. Everett cut pieces of paper up and glued them on for Tyson’s shirt. Colored his hair blue. Put star stickers in for a pair of eyes. And made handprints and footprints to go on the end of daddy’s stick arms and stick legs. He was not finished with just his hands and feet though. No, he requested a belly print as well, so we painted a nice, large, neon splotch on his belly and then he smashed that belly into the paper, rubbed it around a bit and declared it perfect. Tyson’s card to Everett was straight out of the movie Easy A, if you remember that marvelous scene with Emma Stone and her singing card. That was Everett. I think I’ve mentioned before that our song, since the beginning of time two years ago, has been Doris Day’s A Bushel and a Peck. This was the A bushel and a Peck singing Valentine's Day card of dreams. He wanted to dance with it, eat with it, carry it around, put it on his head, bathe with it, and bring it in the car. It topped all of the heart-shaped pancakes in the world and his love for it made our whole day. It’s still lying on the floor right next to his bed, waiting for tomorrow.
You know, I was thinking about how I feel about love these days. About who I’m sharing it with, about where I feel it and when. It seems to be on a daily pendulum that swings back and forth between bursts of spontaneous and deliberate love. Before we go to bed each night, Tyson and I have started asking each other what the highs and lows of our day were and when we felt the most loved. And I always feel so lucky when I answer that particular question because there is rarely a time during my day that is lacking in love. I don’t think it can be helped when your sidekick in a two-year-old who says “I luh you!” at generous random. When I come back in from bringing up some groceries or when Tyson takes Everett to a different part of a museum, or whatever it is that keeps Everett and me apart for even just three minutes, when that little boy sees me again, he runs at full speed with his arms out yelling, “Mama! Mama! Hi!” and piles into my legs with a giant hug. Thinking about that question every day, I think I've noticed the fluidity of the love in my life more than usual. How it can shift from familiar, to romantic, to loyal, to supportive, to dutiful, to glowing, bursting love in one single day. Without consciously thinking about it, those shifts in love can go completely unnoticed; on the surface, looking like errands and groceries and a job and a toddler and making dinner and cleaning the bathroom on a Saturday. But those errands and that job and that toddler is what's building our life together. And being able to see those shifts in love, turns that family hug and kiss and I love yous before Tyson leaves for work into a recognizable moment of glowing, bursting love. And two tired people lying next to each other at the end of the day as that comfortingly familiar love. And after a challenging day, when the house is a mess and I look exactly the same as I did when Tyson left that morning, I can translate the infamous question, "So what did you do today?" into, "How was your day?" which is really, exactly what he meant. And it can turn trying to have breakfast made when Tyson comes home from teaching an early morning class from just, what I do because it's Monday again, into a deliberate, supportive, I love you. And those shared laughs over the phone between two people that really know each other as that thrilling, fun, romantic love.
Love man! Loooove. Talking about it can feel totally cliche sometimes. Or let's be honest, all the time. But jeeze, taking notice of it every day, even in the most particularly routine moments, can make 3pm on a Wednesday feel so full and rewarding and shockingly beautiful, it makes you want to tip your head up and laugh.