In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about love. Actually, the inspiration for this post came from my growing annoyance of a trend I’ve been noticing. I apologize if you do or have done this, but for some reason, it just rubs me the wrong way. I was perusing Instagram the other day and saw several people commenting on pictures of clothes, jewelry, candles or some other material object with “LOVE.” It’s always in all caps and usually accompanied by that smiley face with the heart eyes. Now I will preface my soapbox with saying that I totally understand why someone would say this about a picture of people or even animals. We should love people and animals. But why do I cringe when I see that word “love” tied to inanimate objects?
I don’t think I wrote this down as one of my goals for the year, but one thing I’ve really been thinking about is my (and it seems, the world’s) obsession with “stuff.” Cute clothes, the latest shoes, a designer handbag – even I am guilty of taking pictures of a cute coffee mug here or there. Heck, I did a whole blog post on Etsy. I know I will always be drawn to cute stuff, especially for my kids, but do I really LOVE these things? When I think about what love means to me, I’d have to say definitively – no.
So what is love? I believe I’ve seen a lot of real life examples these past several weeks. It’s my parents giving up almost every day of the past 4 weeks to care for my children and me. It’s my mother-in-law taking significant time off of work to be here with us. It’s Andrew spending a long day at work and coming home to solely take care of the kids. It’s feeling the hands of your loved ones in yours when you first wake up from surgery. It’s when Aiden shares his favorite choo-choo’s with Audrey. It’s the way Audrey looks at Aiden. And it’s even holding out your hands to catch the sickness coming out of your small child (I apologize for the visual). It’s having friends and family take time to bring meals over so life is a little easier. And it’s the tears I shed the first time I got to hold Audrey after surgery.
Am I allowed to like a certain pair of shoes or a sheet set at Target? Of course. I don’t expect this little post to change the mindset of the world, or even of me. But as the commercialized day of love approaches, I hope we can all remember the true meaning of love. It’s not the dozen roses or the box of chocolates. It’s not even the sappy card or the fancy dinner. It’s holding hands while driving in the car because you don’t get to do it anywhere else. It’s feeling two year old feet snuggled under you to keep warm at night. It’s little fingers wrapped around yours while you give her a bottle. It’s what happens every day, all of the time, especially during those hard times. That is LOVE. Happy Valentine’s Day.