Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentine's Day

Because I am about to dump some heavy stuff I want to start with this face to lighten the mood. 

     Today, like many of you I'm sure, I had love on the brain. Not that I don't everyday as a new mother and newly engaged young woman. However, after the usual thoughts (wedding dreams, baby cuddles and holding hands, etc.) I thought about something different: what happens when Abigail falls in love? I know what you're thinking, 
     "Uh Jess, that probably won't be for another 12-15 years at least." 
     Right? But honestly. I think about Valentine's Day, and the first Valentine's Day I celebrated as one half of a couple and I think about Abigail going through the same rite of passage. One day she will date, one day she will fall in love, and most likely: one day she will have a broken heart. That is unless she is REALLY lucky or careful or picky, or some combination of aforementioned traits and she only falls in love once and lives happily ever after. 
    If she's not as lucky as that hypothetical version of her future self, she will probably have at least one heart wrenching break-up to deal with. She won't be the only one going through it, her Dad and I will be there too (and most likely a sibling or two by that time). I will be there to hug her, hold her hand, keep her from texting or emailing (or whatever future teens will be doing to communicate) embarrasing things out of anger or desperation  I will listen, and give her ice cream and make sure she remembers to shower. I will do all of that, because like many of you and like her, I've been there. 

You think I'm kidding about the dramatic thing? I actually sent this head shot to movie studios the summer after grade 12. 

      I appreciate now what my mother and father did for me during those times when my heart was broken. They listened, and fed me and never once asked me what happened. Better still they never said anything like, "there are plenty more fish in the sea," or the equally as awful, "it was just puppy love, kiddo." Even if they were thinking those things at the time, or secretly jumping for joy inside, they never let on. They knew that those relationships meant the world to me at the time. They knew that just because I was young and (INCREDIBLY) dramatic I still felt the pain and it was real for me. 
     So what do I wish had happened differently during those times? When I felt like my heart had stopped and my world was ending? (Like seriously I was that girl reading Twilight going, "Yes Stephanie Meyer, yes. I know EXACTLY what you mean about Bella holding that hole in her chest, I HAVE FELT THAT PAIN.") Dramatic. I wish that beyond those completely perfect parenting moments of pure selfless love, that my parents had reminded me of one thing. (Though thinking back to high school me I doubt that I would have listened). 

     There is someone in the world right now who feels worse than you, has it worse than you, and will continue to have it worse than you long after your broken heart has healed. I live and have always lived, in a First World country, in a safe Canadian city, eaten when I wanted, walked safely through the streets, gotten an education, medical services and been surrounded by love and support of friends and family. I am so quick to forget those blessings when something negative knocks me down in life. I hope for my daughter that she never forgets it. I hope that she will always take her heartbreak or sadness, disappointment or frustration and turn it into something good. I hope she sees those times as opportunities to pay it forward. I know I will be making an effort to do so as an example to her. 
     So when I think about what I will say to her when her tear stained face has finished telling me about the break-up she just endured, I think about hugging her and reminding her of the luck we have in life.
    But until that (awful) day, I will enjoy covering every surface in our home with pink glitter, stringing paper hearts on every wall and baking cupcakes for her classmates. I will remind her everyday that I love her, that her Daddy loves her, and that she will always be our little girl.  

     So should you ever find yourself broken hearted remember that you could have it worse. Really, truthfully, there is something worse out there than the end of a relationship (I know, you don't believe me). Be thankful for what you have right now, and do something for someone who has less than you. It will heal your heart so much faster than that tub of cookie dough, I promise. But just in case it doesn't here's a hilarious photo of me when I was 19 and oh so cool. If it doesn't make you laugh your way to happiness then I don't know what to tell you:

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