How Do You Spell Love?

221380137902535000_v5a3a4lD_cDespite a headache that won’t quit (going on 24 hours, hooray!) and a combined total of 8 hours of sleep over the last two nights, I’m excited to give this day to my girl as a chaperone on her field trip. It’s an all day affair capped off with a Valentine’s Day party back at school in the afternoon. She was so giddy last night she couldn’t sleep.

“I’m too excited to be with you ALL day tomorrow,” she said, cupping my face in her hands. And then I melted.

But before that, perhaps inspired by the 28 Days of Play blog series, we had a dance party. I abandoned the dirty dishes and ketchup smeared across the dinner table and crumbs piled on the floor, and danced with my kids. And played ring-around-the-rosie and taught the boys “I’m a Little Tea Pot”. And then we were animals in the jungle who happened to be plagued with narcolepsy and when we awoke via a mysterious spell we were magically transformed into a different animal. We went on this way until Zach got home, cleaned up the mess in the kitchen and propelled everyone upstairs for bed. Party pooper.

But we were still all giddy, see, because of the oxytocin – the feel good / love not hate / natural pain reliever / trust / bond / calming balm / immunity booster hormone that we have the power to release into our systems on a whim. You know the feeling you get after a good heart-to-heart conversation, or when you dance, or when you do something nice for someone, or when your babe drifts to sleep with his head in the crook of your neck and that sleepy-breath-sweaty-curls scent reduces you to a powerless nothing? That’s oxytocin. And the more we practice the easier and quicker we feel its effect and can reap the benefits of this wonder “drug”. It’s the same hormone that’s released during child birth and sex, so you know.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. It’s a good day to practice releasing some of that oxytocin.

(P.S. this time last year)

I do not love you… (a Valentine’s Day post)

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

The title of this post comes from the poem above — Sonnet XVII: I do not love you…, by Pablo Neruda. I’m fairly certain Mr. Neruda wasn’t writing to his children because I don’t think he ever had any, but for me, these words speak so profoundly of the unconditional love I feel for my children.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where

For a brief time after we had Mia, I thought my heart had about as much love as it could handle. How could it possibly expand to fit more? Oh, how little did I know.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride

(You can read it in its entirety here.)

Luke & Wyatt Valentine's Day 2013

Also, have you seen the tumblr, Vintage Loves? Don’t you wish you knew their stories? I’d love to use these as writing prompts for fictional love letters between the couples. Hmm…I might have to think about that.

Happy Valentine’s Day!