The topic of conversation around here between my husband and myself has been about young love, love, what is love and how in the world we've stayed together.
You'd think it would be a celebration of a life shared and thanksgiving for all we've been given.
That's what you'd think.
But because I've been blessed with a darker shade of mind, I turn it into a practice of realizing just how different we are from one another. Again. For the first time.
My senior year I was in this class called Humanities. It was a hybrid History/English/Sociology/Philosophy class. One of the teachers, every year, notoriously made an argument for why he believed young people could not be in love. We all listened intently and then tried to come up with counter arguments, but I remember agreeing with him. When I look back, I remember wanting the attention of someone but having absolutely no idea how to get it (especially since I sure as hell wasn't going to bare my legs or do my hair). And then the minute it seemed like some boy might want to pay attention to me, I would get so fearful of the prospect that I would retreat back to my bedroom and never come out.
Later on I realized interactions between men and women had nothing to do with love, but more to do with vanity, ego and beer and so I took risks knowing it didn't mean anything, really.
And then I met Jon and , together, we've spent sixteen years learning how to love each other. I look back and we were two people in fancy clothes signing up for something we didn't understand. Marriage, for me, has been the education I needed to understand love in human form. So when I think about young love, I think that there's no way a kid could handle any of it. There's no way a kid could get this vulnerable, this naked, this helpless in front of another person.
I'm not the kid anymore. Now I've got kids and I have to come up with better advice than, "You're all using each other. Stop it." I've got to come up with ways to help them dip their toes into the river of love. That means a measure of healing needs to take place. This weirdo wants the best for her little weirdos. It's not about me or my story. It's about helping them write their own story better than mine.
That means considering love in abundance instead of in shortage, listening to Jon because he's wiser than I am, and seeing that it was his love who helped me figure out who I really am. That's a pretty great gift. That's the kind of gift I want my boys to have too.
I didn't sleep much last night. Love, along with copious amounts of coffee, is going to see me through.