Valentine’s: I’ll Take The Love Any Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers. I don’t usually make too big a deal of this day (except to send a few cards to beloved family members), believing that we should tell our valued friends and family that we love them every day, not just during this rather fake Hallmark celebration.

Not that I can’t be sidetracked as much as the next person by the flowers, chocolates and sappy sentiments pushed by corporations and moviemakers…in fact, Mrs. Beeton (my pink parakeet) and I are in the midst  of a two-week love marathon on The Women’s channel. They call it “Lovestruck” and during this two-week extravaganza, they haul out every schlocky, sentimental romance story made in the last few years. I note that these made for t.v. movies are filmed in the same quaint little village with the same B.C. scenery (i.e.: snow-capped mountains in the background.) And just in case you miss it for the morning viewing (some of us have actual lives to be lived!), they repeat it twice in the afternoon and again in the evening. The after-dinner show actually suits me well — it provides my stomach with enough acid (bile) to digest my recent meal. Of course, I only watch these romance movies because Mrs. Beeton loves them so. As a bird with delicate sensibilities, she hates the blow ’em up, bomb ’em to smithereens t.v. shows that are on other channels. She much prefers quiet shows, preferably with beautiful background music, when she sits on my shoulder, falling asleep.

As I said, I like it when people tell me unexpectedly that they love and appreciate me. Case in point: last week, out of the blue, I received a lovely email from Gill. The subject of the email was:”You did a GREAT job!” It seems she had been in meetings at her university job that day and the powers that be were lamenting the fact that students today lack the determination, commitment, integrity, etc. to make it in the real world. The university is struggling with a way to imbue the students with these things. She was also talking with a friend whose childhood was, let’s say, a bit messed up. It was then that she realized, she said, that I managed to do all this for herself, Crazy D and L’il Sis all by myself! Her exact statement was:”You made pretty great kids, weirdos obviously, but prepared for what we have to face, even if it’s tricky at times.” Those words meant more to me than any schlocky, commercial card.

Throughout their childhood and young adulthood, all of the kids wrote me similar sorts of random “thank you, we love you” notes…and I have saved every one of them. Crazy D, who despite his moniker is a very sensitive, caring person, was particularly good at expressing himself. And believe me, nothing can reduce a mom to tears more quickly than a teenaged son giving thanks for her efforts on his behalf. I love that they ask me out on ‘adventures’, pop in for a cup of tea when they can, and yes, even call me occasionally to cry on my shoulder. I love that all of my kids would rush to help me in an hour of need. They already have, many times, and I know I can count on them. Talk about warm and fuzzy: That’s what I really appreciate.

I still send Valentine’s Day cards to my kids — my way of letting them know that, even though they may be miles or even oceans apart, they are still in my thoughts daily and they know that can count on me to help them. And yes, the odd pooch gets a card from ‘Grandma’. I don’t care that they can’t read — they can still sniff the card and know that Grandma is thinking of them.

Having said that , I do love flowers on the big V day… it’s all The Man In My Life’s fault. He has, for years, arrived at my front door bearing a bouquet of roses. What’s not to love? I figure, at this stage of my life, I’m so fortunate to have found someone with whom to share my life, he could bring me wilting dandelions and I’d get teary-eyed. That said, he’s good to me the rest of the year round, and that’s what really matters! But I am enjoying the bouquet of red roses…

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