It's Valentine's Day.
It comes every year…
Red roses abound, reservations are made and people hold each other near.
Babies like you are often…ahem…created,
and romantic gestures are extravagant and overstated.
Thank goodness society has set aside a day,
when it is encouraged to make a grand display…
of how we feel when we hold each other close,
but this isn't the day of love that your mama loves most.
That day will inevitably be the day you appear…
when your cry will be the sweetest sound I could hear.
The day when I know my life won't be the same…
the day that your daddy and I officially give you your name.
Meantime, there are some things about love I've learned in my time…
Some little nuances I'll now put into rhyme…
If you want them, they're yours to use or discard.
Some of these lessons were easy - others were hard.
First, people are people - we're flawed at the core.
Love is making allowances for this and not expecting too much more.
For the mercy you give will be the mercy you take.
We forgive each other readily when we accept and don't forsake.
More often than not, there is good in every heart.
Choosing to believe that is a gift and an art.
The pain that was cause comes from the pain that we feel
Love is offering a hand to help someone else heal.
Love is keeping those close who feel so far away…
Making an effort to reach out every day.
Giving of our time when we have no time to give…
Serving others first is the kindest way to live.
Never shy away from those who touch your soul.
It's becoming vulnerable that eventually makes us whole.
Love is knowing that the sting of another's pain
is what inevitably compels us toward making great change.
Love is preserving hope for another no matter the cost.
Never allowing for the possibility that the future is lost.
In this way, love is exhausting and a burden to bare,
But no greater fulfillment can be found in anything else, anywhere.
Love is giving of joy any chance that you can.
Offer kindnesses unlimited, my son, and you will truly be a man.
Love is essentially wearing your heart on your sleeve,
But from all my experience, I truly believe…
That even when you want to build a wall and hold the world at bay,
And your impulse is to tuck your broken heart away,
If you keep yourself open and your chin pointed north,
The love that you give, back to you will come forth.
So on this February day marked by flowers and such,
Perhaps your mama's broken verses don't mean all that much.
But one day, I know, you'll see the value in what I write and what I do.
Because this is the kind of Love I'll be giving to you.
I love you, Teddy. The tiny feet that kick me in the ribs….and the sweet spirit I know you already possess. I know that because of the woman I have become from carrying you. Perhaps these are lessons that you are teaching me….from the inside, out.