Everyday Love

I think that everyone needs extravagant displays of love every so often.  Some over-the-top affection at least every couple of years.  It's important to be reminded, "You are loved; you are worth much to me." Someone - a lover, a parent, a friend - should drive for hours to see us for minutes.  Someone should should send a gift that is totally unnecessary, meet a need that isn't theirs to meet.  Someone should forgive us - even serve us - when we are at our ugliest.  Buy the plane ticket, pay a compliment with some depth, the kind a person can carry around for the rest of their lives.  These extravagant displays of love become benchmarks in our life stories; they're the experiences we remember and re-tell.

But between benchmarks,when no one is celebrating your tenth or twentieth anniversary, when money is tight, when life is ho-hum, there is a plain, daily, sustaining kind of love.

Don't forget to look for it, and certainly don't forget to display it, because it's what keeps us going.

On this first day of September, here is my daily dose of love:

See that big mascara stain right on the chest of Dan's T-shirt?  It's because he holds me when I cry.  I smile every single time I fold this one.

Yes, that is gravel all over my nicely finished end table.

It is sitting there because sometimes when the moon is bright, Dan picks Madeline up over his head and zooms her out the door in a "rocket ship" for a visit.  They land in a little gravel patch where they can see the moon over the trees.  There on the moon Madeline plays with these moon rocks, and they are among her greatest treasures.  We cannot step out to get the mail, get into the car, or walk anywhere without stopping by the moon rocks.  And last night, on her way home from church, Madeline covertly reached down and grabbed a handful, brought them inside, and said brightly, as she ground a thousand bits of gravel into my end table,

"Mommy, I brought you some of my moon rocks because I love you!"

Then I loved her so much I almost exploded.  And that is why you should have kids.