When WordPress (the platform I use for blogging) announced last week that the Daily Post feature would be going away I have to admit to feeling abandoned.
This is part three of a three part series featuring a tour of the valentines I’ve made in the years since I graduated from college. This links you to the first post. This links you to the second post.
Which brings us to 2010 and a move back to Louisiana, which inspired that year’s valentine. Let the good times roll!
We moved down the street the next February and no valentines were sent so this was included in the next year’s mailing. I suppose it’s 2011, after the fact.
Some years the valentine making process is easy, some years it literately draws blood, as it did in 2000. It seemed appropriate that the message that year was literal as well as figurative. Sometimes love is difficult and can hurt.
The next year I constructed a valentine that was transparent, with each side different, yet the same, reflecting the many layers of love within each of us….perhaps also a statement about how we change, depending upon the angle we’re viewed from.
My city has been gray and the skies have been full of rain this past week so because today is Valentine’s Day I’m taking you on a tour of my heart instead of on a tour of the place I live, as this week’s photo challenge suggested.
Back in 1981 I was living in San Antonio, going to graduate school while my husband was learning how to fly airplanes for the Air Force in Del Rio. I can’t remember why but one day I wandered downtown and had my portrait taken at one of those “old-time” photo studios. I don’t remember much about that day or why I did it but apparently I was left with pictures I then needed to use.
Enter Valentine’s Day. I do recall sitting down at the dining room table in the apartment I shared with another student and making valentines with a sewing machine, construction paper, doilies, stickers and those photos of myself. I mailed them off to a few of my professors from college and the former classmates I had addresses for.
Straight and simple, we all lead layered lives.
There’s the life we lead in public. The life we present to the majority of the people that know us. In short, our Facebook life. The majority of the time it’s a filtered life of highlights, funny moments, celebrations, shared causes, and occasionally a request for good thoughts or prayers.
Which brings us to the layers beneath that public life, the layers we so often mask over or try to hide…..our concerns and our trials, our misconceptions, the deepest hurts harbored in our hearts, the crosses we carry.
Therein lies the real truth of who we are and what makes us.
Being a parent is an amazing thing but it comes with all sorts of responsibility and long term commitment.
You have to keep them fed, warm, safe, and educated in the ways of the world and God. Teeth need to be brushed, clothes need to be washed, meals prepared, homework completed, prayers said, books read, and little bodies tucked in each and every night.
Being a grandparent, however, is the best role a person is gifted with in life. It comes with all the love and fun but not nearly the angst or the pressures of day-to-day life.
These are the loves in my life. They call me Juju and they call their grandpa Lolo.
They are one love…times three, each one with a very distinct personality, a wonderful combination of their parents and the two families from which their genes originate.
We had a little impromptu photo session this morning for this blog. When I envisioned it on the plane to Houston yesterday I had expectations of lovely photographs of these three siblings together, perfectly dressed and posed, all looking at the camera, all smiling.
Yeah, THAT didn’t happen!
And really, why would I expect or want that?
Butt pictures are what they had the most fun with. And, the fact that we used the word butt.
And isn’t that the best part of grandparenting? I get to throw all the expectations out the window and simply revel in how much fun it is for little people to stick their butts up in the air and giggle until they collapse in a heap on the bed.
One love…times three…equals fun.
Four years ago, after their first date, he wrote on his FB page “Sometimes everything is perfect.”
Fast forward to November 21, 2015 and she writes “I knew the moment I saw you four years ago. And now we have forever.”
A month ago they were two young adults, finding their way in the world as young professionals. They defined themselves as a daughter and a son, as Jeff’s sister and as Jimmy and Steven’s brother, as Conner’s aunt and Judah’s, Xander’s and Maddie’s uncle, as Alex’s girlfriend and Kayla’s boyfriend.
Now that is all eclipsed by “as an engaged couple.”
The planning has begun and their lives are now in the best kind of transition.
They traveled to our home for the Thanksgiving holiday and this proud mom, who is a photographer, but not necessarily a portrait photographer, was more than willing to attempt their engagement photos with some of our favorite DC memorials as backdrops.
We couldn’t be happier to be adding another beautiful, intelligent and genuinely kind daughter-in-law to the two we already have in our family. I may have only given birth to sons but I’m no longer going to be outnumbered…the score is finally even!