My first true love

Valentines Day was great when I was a kid.

It was a happy fun day to hurry through Math and wait for the parties to start.   Our mothers would come to school and cluck and fuss and spread heart-shaped treats and love through our classrooms.

mmm good;

mmm good;

We’d decorate shoe boxes in hopes of a Valentine overload… and sometimes those wishes came true.

You see I’d grown up loved.

I had siblings and cousins, Grandparents and Aunties, Uncles and friends and kitties and ponies, dogs and more.  I don’t remember anyone saying “I love you” as much as just knowing … that they did.

Later on, I had my share of boyfriends, some more serious than others, and yes I even grew up and got married – but to the wrong guy.  ( I did meet the right one later on — otherwise known as “Hubbs.”)

But it wasn’t until I became a Mom that I really understood what love – true love – was all about.

Real love. Deep love.  The kind of love that makes your heart-hurt-sometimes love.

It was a little green-eyed curly-haired moppet who claimed me.  Once I loved him, I didn’t know how my heart could hold any more.

He didn't like the grass on his toes. And I had short hair .. never again. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

He didn’t like the grass on his toes. And I had short hair .. never again. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

When I realized, pretty early on, that the “shine was off the penny” (the marriage was a mistake), I knew there was no way I was going anywhere without my boy.

That face!  My boy. My first true love.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

That face! My boy. My first true love. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

In the thick of the divorce, I remember my mother-in-law calling Mom to try and talk me into staying.   Mom’s response?  “My daughter would rather live in a tent and eat dirt before she stays and you’d be wise not to get in her way.”

My Mom.  All 119 lbs of her. God, I love her.

She’s the one who taught me.  It was her their example I followed.

Mom & Dad, An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Mom & Dad, An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Not always having enough, but making whatever we did … special and joyful.

Youngest boy now has that guitar; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

A simple Tuesday night made fun; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

And so, I remember with great joy, my little guy’s first Valentine’s party in pre-school. I got the afternoon off work, and arrived in time to cluck and fuss and spread heart-shaped treats and love throughout his classroom.

His 5th birthday; I met Mr. Hubbs a month later. Our fates were forever changed.  And Emjayandthem (C) photo

His 5th birthday; I met Mr. Hubbs a month later and our fates were forever changed. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

She’d done it for me and it was in doing for him that I realized we’d be OK.

Why?  Because when you’ve been loved … you can love.

My Boo and that Broad-shouldered Michigan man .. shortly before our wedding.  And Emjayandthem (C) photo

My Boo and that Broad-shouldered Michigan man .. shortly before our wedding. And Emjayandthem (C) photo

Last night, on a spur of the moment, I met that boy for supper.  Hubbs had a work engagement and youngest boy was working so it was just the four of us.

Him and I and the two little chirpy ones had a great visit, some yummy food, and moments of hilarity around the table.  When my grandson corrected my granddaughter, my boy looked at me and smiled as if to say “you know what this is all about don’t you.”  A single Dad with two wee ones in his care, one a “step,” although he doesn’t call him that. Others do.  He just says “this is my son.”

Adult life hasn’t been easy for him and I know the walk he’s walking and the trials he faces.  We do our best to help him know that the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t have to always be an oncoming train.

Someday, I hope he will see that he’s been loved, and because of that, he can love, too.  I hope he meets someone wonderful who will love him for him and accept them for them and who might just go out of her way to make a Tuesday night something special.

Boo & his boy, A.B.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Boo & his boy, A.B. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

smiling wee ones tonight, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

smiling wee ones last night, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

So, as Valentines Day nears, it’s not the flowers or the candy or the parties that I think of, although they’re sweet childhood memories.  Who comes to mind on Valentines is my first true love.

My Boo Bear. All 6’2″ of him.

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Faith, Family, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Mom, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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35 thoughts on “My first true love

  1. Aw……such a sweet post, MJ. The love just shines through in every word of it. And, as the mother of a son, I can completely identify!
    I made my Valentine Cards yesterday, and on Marshall’s, I wrote: “Been loving you since 1980″…..
    You and I are so fortunate to have found guys to love our sons as their own.

    • Thank you, Dianna, I thought of you especially as I wrote it. Yes, so fortunate to have found inclusive partners who loved and welcomed our kids! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. Oh, I wish for a caring, inclusive Hubbs for D1 and GS1. (The end.)

  3. This is so sweet and touching. Mothers….

  4. Ah, what a sweet post. How wonderful to have so much love. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, MJ.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Agreed; love him so much. I don’t normally direct the boys to my writing but I did send him this link and he told me later “way to make me cry all night, Mom.” Well — some things are hard to say in person and are easier to write; he has no need to ever doubt this Mama’s feelings for him!
      Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day to you 🙂

  5. You said it so well…and so sweetly! I look at my SonNo1 and immediately think of that little boy who always had a big smile on his face. Is it wrong to wish I could take him and SonNo2 back to those very early years and do it over again, simply because they were so sweet?

  6. Great post and loved the vintage photos!

  7. Wonderful pictures and an even better story!

  8. Great and wonderful story, Thank you for sharing it with us. Loved the pics. It brought a tear to my eye.

    • Thank you, RR. It’s bittersweet to look back and I’m very fortunate he lives close by and we can see him (and the wee ones) often. 🙂

  9. Darn, you made a tear squeeze out. I just want to hug your Boo and tel him he has a great Mom.

  10. I remember feeling that same kind of love the moment my own oldest boy was born. I never knew such a love existed or that I had it in me. That’s what makes it so hard to see them struggle and that’s what makes it so joyful when they soar.

    I’m glad you got some special time with your boy and the little ones. It’s obvious how dear they all are to you.

    • You are so right — the love we feel sings when they soar and cries when they struggle. Once a Mom, always a Mom!
      We had big fun, and I always love spending time with them – all of them!
      Happy (belated) Valentine’s day, Terri

  11. This is the best Valentine story. Glad you were able to spend the evening with Boo Bear and his cubs.

  12. So sweet. I love your statement about growing up loved. It is the solid foundation that all humans need, but not all receive. Good for you that you had that gift, and that you were able to pass it on to your son. Our son went through a divorce last year, no children, so it’s just him. But I know what you mean…I want him to find the girl….woman…who’ll be loving and accepting. ~ Sheila

    • I had never thought of it before until I wrote it down – but the foundation of love was always there. And I think that’s what kept me going in those long lonely days as a Single Mum; there always remained a small hope of fitting in and being loved.

      I hope the same for your boy, and I’m sorry he he had to go through that last year… divorce leaves its wounds but it doesn’t have to be disabling, that’s what I found anyways.

      Cheers! MJ

  13. cooper

    A life well lived shows through an extensive catalogue of memories. Funny – when our son was little he didn’t like the grass on his feet either.

    • Isn’t that a funny thing? At that age, he would cry when his bare feet touched the grass. Thanks for going down memory lane with me, Coop!

  14. What a lovely post. I’d missed it and I’m so glad you linked to it!

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