Love is the aroma of coffee beans at daybreak,
the sizzling of bacon for breakfast,
the packing of sandwiches into The Incredibles lunch boxes,
the driving to school to let the little ones off.
Love is a black fountain pen and a blank canvas,
the lush pinks and greens one can see from the window,
the sound of a neighbor’s lawn mower running,
the scent of grass mingling with raw sunlight.
Love is seeing the school bus bring home children safely,
the pitter patter of feet running towards the kitchen,
the afternoon snack of peanut butter and jam,
the opening of textbooks and notebooks for homework.
Love is the family ’round chicken and potatoes,
the laughter and giggles from each little babe,
the bedtime stories and last kiss good night,
the ride into dreamland as the Sandman comes.
A day’s worth of love,
Quiet moments. Loud rejoicing. Warm embraces. Loving whispers.
How would you measure your love in a day?
Love Yesterday, Love Today
I wrote this poem in 2005, way before I had my son. I was struggling with the desire to have a child and the reality of having difficulty conceiving. In my head, my picture-perfect family meant I stayed home all day, had at least two kids, prepared breakfast and dinner for my husband and children. I had a lot of love in real life during that year, but it pained me that I couldn’t share the extra love I had with my own kids.
Cut to four years later. My pregnancy caught me by surprise. We weren’t actively trying… it was more like, oh well, let’s see how things go! After years of trying, I just was so tired. It was when we stopped planning that our little boy came along. How’s that for a wonderful surprise!
I reread this poem and my visions of an ideal love-filled day isn’t very different. I would still want to stay at home and prepare meals for my family, be a full-time writer. But what I also know is that the my day’s worth of love now, while different from what I wished for, is everything I need at this time of my life.
Because love is the kiss on the cheek of a sleepy boy, while I wear my heels to head off to work.
Love is the flurry of text messages back and forth, with my husband whose face pops on my phone’s screen at random moments of the day.
Love is immersing myself in work I enjoy, to nurture colleagues and teammates, my “family by day”.
Love is a phone call from my son in the afternoon, and it’s all the buzz I need to get through the rest of the day.
Love is a kiss from my husband and son when we’re finally together at night, and my son shouts “FAMILY HUG!” And we all wrap our arms around each other until we’re one big tangled ball of arms and legs and laughter.
Love is a family to come home to.
There may be no white picket fence or The Incredibles lunch boxes to pack or afternoon snacks of peanut butter and jam or even the sizzling of bacon for breakfast. But that is okay. Because we live in a home full of love, there’s a T-Rex lunch box that’s regularly filled with biscuits and crackers, my son doesn’t like peanut butter anyway and we can always have bacon for dinner.
Love is giving your all and expecting nothing back.
But love is also being caught by surprise by a little boy’s laughter, a husband’s hand finding my own in the middle of the night.
It’s love I always wanted, love I always needed and a love that’s just right for me.
This is now a day’s worth of love in my life.
I can’t wait for tomorrow.
What is love for you?
Image from Unsplash.