I think sharing breakfast with the kids has been the best part. We always sit down for supper together. We have a lot of bad habits in this family, but I am proud of the fact that we always sit down for supper together and share our day. But, there is something different about starting the day together as opposed to ending it. Evening meals are often accompanied with exhaustion, whining, or stress about things that still need to get done before bedtime. Breakfast has been a fresh start. Well, yesterday Sarah performed her big sister duty by telling one of Eli's secrets. I just love that my kids have secrets together. Anyway, she informed me that Eli knew who his Valentine was going to be. Say what? Eli and I both had the same expression. He was shocked that his sister would sell him out. I was shocked that my 5 year old son had chosen a Valentine. Sarah proceeded to tell me who it was and I was not shocked. It's one of my ballerinas and when school first started Eli would tell me everyday that she chased him around the playground. He said she could never catch him so eventually she started having her friends chase him. I wish I had thought of that in kindergarten, I could have had more boyfriends. :) As I grappled with the idea of my baby boy choosing a Valentine he then asked, "What is a Valentine anyway?" *Sigh of relief* I explained that usually you bought something for someone that you liked. Sarah said, "Well that's awkward. There is more than one person that likes me." Mercy. Lord help us. Lord, protect those young boys from the wrath of my husband. Amen.
All of this has happened much sooner than I anticipated. My son is such a lady's man. One little girl tried to hug him at the grocery store one day. He resisted so the next time he saw her she opted for a high five. He is often the talk of our stretching circle for my kindergarten girls in ballet. Two of the girls really like him and both of their Moms are due to have babies on his birthday. Isn't that funny? That makes me think of my first crush. I was in first grade and it was a boy named Philip. My Mom had just had my brother Philip and I assumed that would totally win his heart. I had a brother with the same name. Didn't he think that was cool? Not so much. That was just the beginning of my long, painful process of looking for love in all the wrong places. :) Sarah's word "awkward" is really the right word to describe my love life. In second grade I fell for a different boy and he chose my best friend over me. I had to sit on the bus with them. Awkward. Josh still swears up and down that I was his first crush when we were in fifth grade together. I give him a hard time about him not telling me and saving me a lot of heartache in the years between 5th grade and our senior year of high school. That's a lot of years of awkwardness, y'all!!
Having that conversation with my kids brought back sweet and fun memories of school parties and innocent crushes. But as I think about Valentine's Day it also brings up memories of feeling unloved or rejected. My Mama did her best. She always sent balloons or flowers to me at school on Valentine's Day. I have the best Mama. But you know, you just reach that point where the idea of Valentine's Day is that you are hoping someone will choose you. Someone besides your Mama. :) I am blessed that Joshua Stuart Fidler chose me. That boy had no idea what he was getting into. But, many years later I can say that more than being chosen, I am blessed that I get to love him. You see, I finally realized that for a long time in my life, I wasn't looking for love. I was looking for someone to pick me. To say that I was okay. To make me feel special. Anytime I suffer through "The Bachelor" (my favorite show "Castle" comes on right after it) I can't help but think about how those people are so not looking for love. They are looking to be picked. To win. To feel validated and like they were chosen over the other girls. That's what I think. I know that is what the 17 year old me wanted. But now, the 30 year old me can see that relationships aren't just about being picked, or "winning" out over other girls. To place my self-worth or value in another person's opinion of me is very dangerous. People's opinions change. Feelings change. Flowers die. Candy melts. Wow, I should write greeting cards. :)
What I'm saying is that this time of year always reminds me that we all have a need to be loved. To be chosen. Just remember that you have been chosen already, by someone whose feelings and opinion of you never changes.
“Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth." Acts 22:14
God has not only chosen us, but it is only the love that He places in our hearts that allows us to truly and fully love others. It is my prayer that this month as the world focuses on the kind of "love" that exhibits itself through stuffed animals, jewelry and candy (and I'm not against any of these things at all :) that everyone would know the love God has for them. He's chosen you! No playground chases necessary......... :)