Valentine’s Day has always been a secondary holiday for T and I. Our first date six years ago was several days after Valentine’s, so that’s always been more important to us. We even celebrated it on the early side this year, taking advantage of his mom being in town to watch little Q. More to come on that in a separate post! In fact, like last year, I again found myself spending the time around the holiday at a watch event for The Bachelor – with last night’s involving some BBQ and the show at Brother Jimmy’s.
As I feel like will be the theme throughout the course of the year, today had me thinking though about the holiday in a different light. This morning when I fed Q it was so dark I could barely make out his little face. I didn’t get to see him yesterday, with him already being asleep by the time I made my way home last night. This morning I was thinking about love – how over the course of life, we learn about so many types of love. And I thought about how happy it makes me that he will be surrounded and know much love and understand the meaning of that word on this day, and on every day.
As I was sitting on today’s delayed train, I began going through my email and I came across one from Dr. Jimmy Abraham who I was lucky enough to be a Roadrunner (Mississippi State University student recruiter) under. He has a way of sending notes that make you think about the right thing at just the right time. He shared this story he’d also shared probably 18 years ago in our class. It made me smile. I hope that some day Q has the perspective of “Little Chad” in this story.
Little Chad was a shy, quiet young fella. One day he came home and told his mother that he’d like to make a valentine for everyone in his class. She thought, “I wish he wouldn’t do that” because she had watched the children when they walked home from school. Her Chad was always behind them. They laughed and hung on to each other but Chad was never included. Nevertheless, she decided she would go along with her son. She purchased the paper and glue and crayons. For three whole weeks, night after night, Chad made thirty-five valentines.
Valentine’s Day dawned and Chad was beside himself with excitement. He carefully stacked them up, put them in a bag, and bolted out the door. His mom decided to bake him his favorite cookies and serve them up warm with a cool glass of milk when he came home from school. She just knew he would be disappointed and that would ease the pain a little. It hurt her to think he wouldn’t
get many valentines, maybe none at all.
That afternoon she had the cookies and milk on the table when she heard the children outside and looked out the window. Sure enough, here they came, laughing and having the best time. And, as always, there was Chad in the rear. He walked a little faster than usual. She fully expected him to burst into tears as soon as he got inside. His arms were empty, she noticed, and when the door opened she choked back the tears. “Mommy has some cookies and milk for you.” But he hardly heard her works – he just marched on by, and all he could say was “not a one, mom, not a one.” Her heart sank. Then he said it again –“I didn’t forget a one mom, I didn’t forget a one!”