"Its a kissing day."
That was Mischief's response when I asked him about Valentine's Day.
"What if you don't have anyone to kiss?" I asked.
"Then you're lucky. Kissing is gross. And weird. And germy," replied Crafty. (keep thinking that for at least 50 years, Girl!)
here in 2012 and here in 2011) and this year is no different. It irks me that once a year people are left hoping, expecting, wishing and lamenting about their love life because some marketing genius decided that love is a hot commodity. Once a year, women fret about whether their lover (if they even have one) is going to love them to their set expectations and men sweat it out in jewellery stores and flower shops, spending scads of cash in hopes of reinforcing their affection. Ridiculous!
A friend recently said it perfectly, "If you need Valentine's Day to remind you to love your loved one, you've got problems no chocolate heart will ever fix!"
So its with that thought in mind, as I bask in the security of Mr. Awesome's love all 365 days this year, that we are preparing to celebrate our 12th annual Family Love Day. The streamers are hung, the love notes are written and the red food colouring has been bought. In the morning, the kids will wake to a red and white kitchen, strewn with hearts and ample opportunity to express, to each other, just how awesome it is to be part of This Random Family.
Aside from all the Family Love this year, we've been talking to our kids about finding a way to love those who are tough to love. As part of our 52 Weeks of Giving Challenge the kids have been praying for their own personal Unlovelies but today, Dude of all people, put that love into action.
Since the beginning of the school year Dude has been having a tough time with this kid, David. Dude and David have clashed on nearly a daily basis with things coming to a head last week when David took a swing at Dude and Dude gave David a swift boot. After that incident we talked several times about being a peacemaker and finding a better way to express anger. Even after talking with me, the vice-principal and the guidance councillor I didn't think we were making much headway ... until today.
Today, Dude came running out of the school at the end of the day. As he jumped into the jeep he flashed me a huge grin and declared, "I did it!"
"Did what?" I asked.
"I talked with David and we've decided to be friends."
"Yeah. We talked and I agreed to not threaten him and he agreed to not say everything that comes into his brain. And absolutely no more punching and kicking. We went around and told all the important teachers."
I didn't want to badger him, so I just congratulated him on making a good choice and being a peacemaker. I'm dying to ask him how and why and when and who helped and a million other things but I won't. My prayer for my kids is always that they will take the lessons we try to teach and the conversations we have and make them their own, find a way to live them out in their world. Because of that, I'll just have to settle for not knowing the details and just celebrate the moment with my beautiful, compassionate, growing boy!
Tomorrow, however you choose to celebrate, be sure to love an Unlovely or a Lonely or a Random Stranger. Give your smile freely. Offer words of encouragement. Notice people, really, really see them. And love lavishly!
"Life is messy. Love is messier." – Catch and Release