A Preamble to “Love”

I was having a discussion with my lovely 15yr old daughter the other day about love and relationships. She’s a teen, she’s around boys all day, and well . . . in this particular part of her life, she is quite normal. She has a crush. I don’t think any of my other kids ever admitted to a crush. I’d just assume and then promptly bust them out in front of all the girls in their lives. I took, and still do, great pride in that. But, lets stay on track.

First, have you ever tried to “define” love? It is not that easy. Especially when the response to every statement you make is “but, why”? Take a seat, grab a drink, and relax. My view on love and relationships will likely leave you more confused, possibly suffering a loss of brain cells, and definitely wondering what you could have been doing for the time it takes you to read and recuperate from ridiculous, but legit conversation in my home.

Let’s say I have a bowl. It’s my favorite bowl and I protect it. In my bowl goes only the best cereal. If you even attempt to dump your Wheaties in my bowl, we are gonna have a go around. That’s gross. My bowl is special, it deserves better. Wheaties are so basic and one dimensional in flavor. There’s no surprise in the experience. Well, that’s not entirely true. There is definitely a surprise in how long it takes the fiber to work its way from top to bottom and in what agonizing speed it will chose to exit. But that discussion is for a different day.

It took me a very long time to understand my bowl. Sometimes I get done with my morning “bowl v. Chenon” meeting and I will have clearly lost the battle. Other days I finish as the champion, no milk splatter, no soggy endings, really, it’s the start to a fantastic day. But that bowl, I’m telling you, it’s tricky. Out of nowhere it will get an attitude and just shut me down. It jumps out of my hand, dives off the counter, or refuses to take a bath in time for its next scheduled appearance. Where does this bowl get off? Is there bowl rehab? I should look into that. I mean, we’ve had a conversation. I made it clear that IKEA has not ended its family line and there can be a replacement. If not that, at least a needy cousin that will be a perfectly good stand in.

Even with these obvious issues, I do not think I could ever intentionally go against my bowl. It knows what it wants. It wants Reese Puffs, Marshmallow Matey’s, smores cereal, and generic frosted flakes. I don’t dare throw a curve ball and change it up. This bowl has survived a marriage, a divorce, 7 kids, reckless roommates, 5 moves, and yes . . . some pretty nasty butt licking pets. Sure, it throws a fit every now and then, but I know there is a mutual feeling. We support each other, we know, when everything else falls away, we can take care of each other.

Have you figured it out yet? I don’t think I can be any more basic than this. Ok, fine. I will spell it out for you. Your heart is your constant companion. Take care of it. Obviously it knows way more than you do. Look at its job!! Its literally keeping you alive. I guess you could come back at me with your life saving career skills, but lets face it. You are not as cool as a heart, or my bowl for that matter (ehhh, maybe that was a bit too far).

This brings me to my epic parental response when the kid asked what she should do about this crush and how she would know when she was in love. I’d like to note that, no, she has not spoken a word to this alien being of a male as of this conversation. So being in love is a bit of a stretch. I sat back, and figured the best solution to the inquiry would be to confuse the hell out of her and come back to this discussion in say, 10 years. Makes total sense, right? My heart, oops, my bowl agreed.

“Ashley, love is an enigma. It’s hard to catch, but when you do, take care of it. Also, it is entirely possible to love something today, and a year from now simply like it. You look confused? Hmm, let me try to explain that a little better. You’ll be wishin’, hopin’, and prayin’ for a better man. There will be days like this, and others will be like you got hit with a wrecking ball. Don’t act like you wear a halo. Keep your poker face in play, but not too long. If you don’t say hello, you might appear shallow. But don’t stop believing, you too will find slow hands and a guy from Austin. At the end of the day, he may say ‘marry me’ or he could say he has 99 problems and you aren’t one of them. A wise guy once said that if you sit on the dock by the bay, gravity will find you, and you will be unbreakable. If not unbreakable, you’ll at least find a slice of American pie and take a photograph”.

She walked away . . .

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