My mother was born on Valentine’s Day, a little cupid who would grow up and have daughters of her own. She would demonstrate love by dumping extra frozen vegetables in the Crock Pot, by curling our bangs to 80’s perfection, by reading ‘Old Grumpy’ and ‘Little House’ before bed, by offering us huge chunks of cheese and economy-size spoonfuls of crunchy peanut butter because “you girls need a little protein.” A work-outside-the-home mom, she said I love you by doing laundry at 11:00 p.m. so we’d have clean jeans, taught at our school so we’d always have an advocate. She introduced us to black and white movies, musicals, soul seasoning for our popcorn, and Pace Picante Sauce.
This Valentine baby continues to show us love in the most practical of ways. Last night she met our new puppy. She sat in the floor and stroked her fur (which was Mom’s way of telling me she loves me) and murmured soothing nonsense. And then, in true mom form, she said, “I’m going to go get her a bed. No, no. I want to. It’s a grandmother thing to do and this is my grand-dog.” It was late and she’d worked a full day but she headed to Wal-Mart just the same.
Our dog loved her bed.
Our mother gives Valentines you didn’t know you needed. And you’re better for having received them. She believes love is action.
Happy Birthday, Mom. You are one of a kind. Your life is a Valentine to the world.