To our darling Valentines:
Years ago, Erma Bombeck wrote a little ditty 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, while we kids might have thought there was a favorite, a parent’s love doesn’t favor one over the other, but favors the unique qualities in each child.
So, on Valentine’s Day, here is why we love each of you best, oldest to youngest. We’re starting with Rob, because anybody who’s stuck around this long is family, mixed blessing though it may be.
Rob – We love you best because you are the outgoing one. You are committed to being and making friends. We love your gift of making others feel important; in turn you are very much admired. Only a person who is self-accepting winds up with this coveted talent. We love that you are able to leave your unique mark in this way. We love that you have chosen to experience and embrace new places and changing ideas. We love how you know that to be interested is to be interesting.
Erin – We love you best because you are the adventurous one. You are determined to go where you need to go. We love that 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. We love that you are unafraid to change your focus when you’re challenged.
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 that you consider them thoughtfully. 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 are unafraid to go your own way. We love that you are kind and accepting, even as you decide your path.
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. 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. We love that you can sit with someone you don’t know for a little while, get to know them, and make a new friend. We love that you are blazing your trail.
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 receptive and sensitive to feelings. Only a person who is comfortable in her own skin can celebrate who she is as well as who others are. We love that your intelligence manifests in perception and self-worth. We love that you are working on and realizing your lifelong dream.
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 beauty and composition in such delightful ways. We love that your creativity lets us see who you are. We love that you are planning to learn more and refine your talent.
Happy Valentine’s Day to a Fabulous Bunch!
Love, love, love from your Dad (Pete) and Mom (Betsy)