Love Letter …

TO MY DAUGHTER ON VALENTINES:
You are so small right now. But one day you will be a grown woman, in a sea of men. You will date and perhaps marry. Before this happens, you need to understand what true love really is. Today for example, your daddy was folding laundry while I was washing last night’s dishes. In the midst of our early morning routines, we were also working together to get you and your brothers ready for school. There were no flowers, no romantic music playing in the background, no grand gesture of undying devotion.
But that’s the thing about genuine love. It’s almost never one grand gesture, on one certain day. It is small actions every day and every night of the entire year.
Love is when you stay up too late, talking to someone because they are broken. Even when you are tired. Even when you don’t have all the answers.
Love is offering to help, sharing a smile, and lessening the load for someone else.
Love is being faithful and honest. With yourself. And with your partner.
While elaborate dinners, fancy vacations, and material gifts may feel like love … they are not.
Love is paying bills together, cleaning up vomit together, and keeping your mouth quiet during those times you want to scream.
While your daddy may never write me love poems, I hope you see why he doesn’t have to. He writes me one each morning by raising you and your brothers, together with me. He writes me one each night by holding my hand as I fall to sleep. And he writes me one each year by counting the candles on the cake as we grow old together.
He is constant and loyal and so very kind to me. Every day. Every week. Every year. On this Valentines and every one after, I pray that you marry a man just like your father.
You don’t need big presents. You only need big love.
You don’t need grand gestures. You only need a soft place to fall.
Your daddy is mine.
And one day, God willing, you will have that cushion too.

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