Monday, February 11, 2013
Best Kind of Love
Valentine's Day...hate it or love it...it happens every year. You can complain about being forced to celebrate the 'holiday' or suffer the consequences. Many rail against the greedy bastard greeting card companies and florists who make a killing on this one, single day. Some feel bad because they don't have someone to love or the one they're with doesn't give them the love they need. I've felt all of these things at different stages of my life.
This year my Valentine's Day focus is on the best kind of love in the world. You can celebrate it anytime. It's pure and true, straight from the mouth of a babe. It all comes down to five little letters I-L-Y-A-G.
It's 1990, my daughter is picking up her toys, she's almost four years old. She doesn't want to finish picking up toys because when we're done, it's bedtime...so she's rather chatty. I'm trying to stay on task so I compliment her toy gathering skills and say "I love you, Pookie." She says "I love you MORE Momma." I can still see us, sitting at the door of her playroom, which was nothing more than a storage cubby under our apartment staircase. And we started a 'who loves whom bigger' game.
Me: I love you as big as this toy box!
Her: I love you as big as the couch!
Me: I love you as big as the house!
Her: I love you as big as the world!
Me: I love you as big as the stars!
At this point she pauses...she can't think of anything bigger than the stars. Now her little imagination is working overtime and she exclaims "I love you ALL GONE!" Folks, we have a winner - I mean really, who can top all gone!? She recognized my stunned delight at this brilliant declaration, so excited to clearly be the winner of the game. Her prize was a few extra minutes before bed as I wrestled her giggling body to the floor, smothering her with kisses.
From that moment on, I love you all gone (ILYAG) became my favorite expression. My daughter and I taught it to my son when he was old enough to understand the words. The five letter abbreviation is perfect for a text or a card and we still use them 23 years later. It's how we feel about each other, it's our own secret code. Now my grandgirls are about the same age my daughter was when she created this biggest love of all and we're passing the tradition down to them.
One day a year laden with chocolate and flowers is nice but in my opinion, a life filled with days of loving someone or something 'all gone' will serve you much better. Your child or spouse, your animals or your favorite cause - love with abandon and that includes yourself.
Happy February 14th and remember to love, all gone.