I love Valentine’s Day. I love Cupid and the idea that he can shoot an arrow, and create love where it never existed. As a child, with the last name Angel, I got Cupid themed gifts all the time. I loved the little fellow, and hoped that one day he would get me straight through the heart.
I have friends, both single and married, who loathe Valentine’s Day. They think it’s over commercialized, and resent that they are forced to show love on this particular day. I can appreciate there is a lot of pressure to have the day be special. What is really interesting, is to see the day through the eyes of my 14 year old son, and his friends.
They are going to a Valentine’s Day party this weekend, and are talking about who will be asked to be a Valentine. It’s sweet, but you can sense the underlying pressure. It’s the beginning of the end for these kids. Over the next year they will be sucked into the chaos that is love, and there will be no turning back.
One of my son’s friends just broke up with his girlfriend. They are 14 years old. The pain on this boys face is palpable. We chat on Facebook everyday, and it’s crushing to see how sad he is. Sidebar: I am so proud that my son and his buddies are my Facebook friends. A lot of moms don’t make the Facebook cut!
To hear this boy speak of how heartbroken he is, is sad and fascinating. He is convinced that he will never feel this bad, ever again. I want to hug him and explain that it will be okay, and at the same time it’s difficult to not laugh. The poor guy has no idea. This is nothing my dear, sweet boy. Just wait!
I was thinking about how hard it is to have a broken heart when you are young. You cannot imagine that you will ever feel better, or will ever love anyone the same way. You panic, and try to figure out ways to get them back. There is a naïve quality to being young and in love.
Who am I kidding? Those feelings are the same whether you are 14 or 44. When my son’s pal talked about how he was feeling, he used the same words I have used as an adult. Love is the greatest feeling in the world, and at the same time, the most horrible feeling ever.
For Valentine’s Day this year I will be with my son and his heartbroken friend. We are going out for sushi and a movie. It will be a great day, and I will be with two fabulous young men. It will be my job to listen, be supportive, and keep the idea of love alive for these kids.
As parents, we want to share our experiences, and give our children realistic expectations. We want their lives to be better, to take away their pain and heartache, so they have nothing but happiness. We can do that in a lot of areas, but sadly love is not one of them.
Love can be divine, delicious and grand. Sometimes it is bitter, vicious and crushing. We say the most wonderful things to the people we love, and at the same time, we hurt the ones we love more than anyone else. There are no boundaries to the heights, or depths, that love can take us.
I am going into the Valentine’s Day weekend with hope. Hope that Cupid will find me. Hope that my son will be brave enough to love and be loved. Hope that his friend will recover quickly from his broken heart. Hope that when I find love, through the good and bad, I will keep the faith.
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