Love is … more than one day

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - TRI-LAKES EDITION - By Tammy Keith

Those of you who are my age or older will re­mem­ber the “Love Is …” comic strips.

When I was a lit­tle girl in the ’70s, I had a thing for those. My grand­mother, whom I called Nano, cut them out of the pa­per and saved them for me. I was a hoarder be­fore it was the sub­ject of a TV show.

The comic strip fea­tured a some­times naked — but not anatom­i­cally cor­rect — cou­ple, a dark-haired boy and a girl with light-col­ored long hair, big eyes and freck­les, and it was a one-frame strip that started in the left-hand cor­ner with “love is ….” The New Zealand artist started the car­toons as love notes to her hus­band.

One of the most fa­mous is “Love is … be­ing able to say you are sorry.”

A lot were mushy, such as “Love is … feel­ing guilty you haven’t thought about him in a whole hour.” “Love is … when he’s your sun­shine on a rainy day.”

As Valen­tine’s Day ap­proaches, I was think­ing about those car­toons, most of which I still have some­where buried in my Nano’s cedar chest.

I’ve never been ro­man­tic, so Valen­tine’s Day is not that im­por­tant to me.

To me, love is …

• Hand­writ­ten love let­ters be­tween your grand­par­ents, signed with X’s and O’s. I still have some of those, too.

• Ly­ing on her side of the bed to warm the sheets be­fore she gets in. (I am so spoiled.)

• Telling her she’s beau­ti­ful when she’s preg­nant and weighs more than you do. (Like me, with son No. 2.)

• In­de­scrib­able when you see your baby for the first time.

• In­de­scrib­able when you see your grand­child for the first time.

• Rock­ing ba­bies and singing, even if it’s off-key.

• A sleep­ing baby in your arms. • Get­ting up for a 3 a.m. feed­ing so she, or he, doesn’t have to. • Good, hard­work­ing par­ents. • Spe­cial grand­par­ents.

• Your mother’s hand on your head when you’re sick.

• Your dad al­ways be­liev­ing you can do any­thing.

• A home-cooked meal. • Say­ing no when “ev­ery­body else’s mother” is say­ing yes.

• Re­learn­ing al­ge­bra to help him with his home­work.

• Let­ting them go, even when you don’t want to.

• Ly­ing awake when they learn to drive, lis­ten­ing for the sound of the front door open­ing.

• Broth­ers who are best friends, too.

• Let­ting him have the last cookie, even though you re­ally want it.

• Fix­ing her break­fast so she won’t be late for work.

• Lis­ten­ing, and lis­ten­ing, and lis­ten­ing when she’s vent­ing. • Re­spect.

• Trust.

• Loy­alty.

• For bet­ter or worse.

• Mak­ing each other laugh af­ter all these years.

• Be­ing happy when you hear his car pull up in the drive­way.

• Clean­ing up the kitchen af­ter he cooks, even the greasy pan.

• Mak­ing sure you close the re­frig­er­a­tor door be­cause it re­ally drives him crazy.

• Hav­ing fun be­ing to­gether, even if it’s do­ing noth­ing.

• Friends who ac­cept you just the way you are.

• A good book.

• Know­ing that no mat­ter what you do, your

fam­ily will be there for you.

• A lot more than one day when you get a box of candy, some flow­ers or a piece of jew­elry. Not that I wouldn’t take any of those, but it’s the mil­lion smaller mo­ments that mat­ter.

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