(This piece is posted over at mommybloggers.com as part of their Valentine’s Day Love Post Marathon. Go see- the place is abloom with love. My bit is very true, but kind of sound bite sappy. What I didn’t write about- because I only remembered it after I added the visual-is what the heck is up with his hair? It was a week before the wedding, which was dignified, reverent, adult, fun, delicious and a musical blast. It’s the wedding you would have had if you had any sense the first time around. And on this day, a week before, my best friend was coming to take photographs that would be in the guest book. While I was getting tidied up, finding my best white blouse and pearls, the man of my dreams wandered off…and shaved his own head. For no apparent reason. Badly. Very very badly. Note the bare bald patch. And the mullet like growth at the back of his neck. And then he looked for all the world like a Charlie Brown cartoon. For the next month, he would be foolishly shorn. This is true love: You marry him anyway. I did and it is.)
When did I think love was sixteen, new, friendly and kind, and would rescue me from the loneliness of home and an out of step adolescence? We grew up together and we were friends, but then life called us apart. In the end, we went our separate grownup ways.
When did I think that love was an angst ridden knight tilting at windmills with an undercurrent of seething resentment towards women? The drama was high, so was the chemistry and together we made beautiful babies. But really, in the end, he never did want to be married.
When did I think love was one of life’s misfits who needed a human alarm clock and a handful of inhalers? His intentions were good and his heart was right. Was it his fault he couldn’t work, catch a plane, order dinner out or, for that matter, breathe? In the end, he died.
And then I decided I had two children to love, many friends, a career, a cat, a home, a cottage and a vintage Airstream trailer. Who needed more?
When did I realize that love grows (older), it is patience (taxed), forgiveness (for what seems unforgivable), gentleness (in the face of harsh reality), laughter (in the midst of tears), sharing (when you want the best piece for yourself) and hopes and dreams (sometimes dashed)? It’s just now dawning on me.