Love still the most natural and beautiful gift
My daughter came into the world in a hurry, a whole two months before her due date; a hurried visit from the stork on a Wednesday evening, to bring a not-so-well wrapped parcel.
She was unbelievably tiny, so fragile-looking, with some of her functions barely developed.
Today, a few months shy of five, it's hard to believe she is the same little thing that needed tubes to survive. Her smart mouth, especially, is the one thing I can never get used to. She leaves me gasping for air, sometimes with shock but most times with laughter.
It has been fascinating to watch the things that occupy her young mind and how quickly they get discarded for the next wonder.
Observing and raising her has become a soundboard for me as I navigate life and has helped me return to my truth a lot.
Lately, her little mind likes to ask about my mother, why is she dead, why didn't you take her to the doctor and is she under the floor. Most interesting to me though, is that she also likes to ask me about "my husband". When will you have a husband, mommy?
And then she goes through the list of the people in our lives and asks if any of them could be my husband one day. Will you marry him, mommy?
We go through this funny exchange almost every day. When she asked me this on Valentine's Day, it got me wondering.
Why is it that romantic love is one of the first things we learn about? Even when we don't have the knowledge or full grasp of what it is, we witness it quite early in our lives. I mean yes, one learns of parents, siblings and relatives, but romantic love is right up there on the list of first things we pick up about our world.
When we are older, memories of our parents giggling or laughing and throwing their heads back together is one of the things we not only remember but it becomes what we want for ourselves too.
And if you have ever been in love, properly, you know that it is warranted too. Romantic love for me, holds as much weight, splendour and wonder as friendships do.
The idea that we can meet in the wilderness that is life someone who likes the same things as us, and finds the same things funny as we do and who wants to spend their days with us is a beauty.
So often people are wrongfully shamed for wanting and seeking companionship. I will be the first to admit that those letters in magazines of people looking for love are hilarious. The intention, however, isn't.
Often we ridicule them because they have the courage to do what we can't for ourselves.
On Valentine's Day, my friend and I went out for dinner, a last-minute decision that saw us find a table only at the fifth restaurant we called. We paid an exorbitant amount of money for a dinner for two, a reminder that love has been a currency for many years.
Love is still one of the most natural things available to and for us. I love using children as a gauge because their view is yet to be tinted by the many things that have left us jaded. Love offers a sense of belonging and anchors us. We are emboldened when we are loved, we strive for more when we know that there is a soft landing should we fall.