Years ago, one of my favorite writers, Erma Bombeck wrote a love letter more like a valentine to her three children, explaining why she loved each of them (oldest, middle and youngest) best. My mother kept that clipping in her wallet for years. I remember reading it and understanding that each child is the parents’ favorite for reasons unique.
I used Erma’s example as inspiration to write a valentine to our children here a couple of years ago. For Valentine’s Day 2012, here is an updated love letter with reasons why we love each of you best, oldest to youngest.
To each darling Valentine:
Erin - We love you best because you are the adventurous one. You are determined and you concentrate on reaching new heights. Only a person who is disciplined will see herself through to obtaining the credential you are seeking. We love that you are unafraid to live in new places without ever having been to them. We love that you have chosen to keep learning, and that your career is about learning. On Valentine’s Day, we wish for you the continued joy of loving what you do.
Ben - We love you best because you are the thoughtful one. You have the heart and soul of a seeker. We love that you are interested in many things, and how your mind works out surprising and delightful conclusions. We love how you show up unexpectedly with something you thought would interest us, as well. Only a person who is reflective will achieve great empathy and understanding. We love that you go your own way with your unique and enviable talent. In this year’s valentine, we celebrate your new place and the promise of more success.
Geoff - We love you best because you are the surprising one. You are strong and resolved. We love that you continue to accomplish and learn, despite predictions made by others, and how you teach and help. We love how you sidestep obstacles. Only a person who has had to devise ways of doing things differently will truly know what it means to reach each milestone. On Valentine’s Day, our wish in this love letter is that your search to make the things you love your livelihood will continue to bear fruit and bring you joy.
Robin - We love you best because you are the persistent one. You are focused with the strength of will. We love how you can work magic with animals, and that they recognize they have a champion in you. We love how you are a person who is receptive and sensitive to feelings, and that you are comfortable in your own skin, knowing full well exactly who you are, and celebrating others. We love that your intelligence manifests in perception and self-worth. We love that you are grateful for the chance of realizing your lifelong dream. We celebrate your new job in this year’s valentine.
Jessica - We love you best because you are the artistic one. You remind us that the big picture is composed of many parts that are interesting in and of themselves. Only a person who has a unique way of seeing can zero in and share pleasure in something others might overlook. We love that you are able to get us to see through your eyes and that your creativity lets us see who you are. In this Valentine’s Day love letter, we celebrate your happy sparkle and unaffected beauty.
Happy Valentine’s Day to a Fabulous Bunch of “Bratty Birds!” You know who you are!
Love, love, love from your Dad (Pete) and Mom (Betsy)