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Midlife Moments: What is Love?

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Few days before February fourteenth, my ten year old asked me for a needle and thread. I could not locate the box where I had stored all my sewing essentials so I told him that I would find it after some time. The box surfaced a few days later under a pile of dirty laundry but by then I had forgotten that Armaan had asked me for a needle and thread.

On Valentine’s Day morning Armaan presented me with a beautiful napkin quilt sewn together by thread. He used rubbing alcohol and markers to write different messages/drawings on four napkins. I gave him a tight hug and asked him who helped him sew it. He told me that he used a paper clip as a needle and some thread to stitch together the napkins. I got really teary eyed that he went to such great lengths to make the card for me. I also felt guilty that I never gave him the needle and I felt proud that he was creative enough to use a paper clip. I gave him some more hugs and cuddles and kisses, and thought “This is love, pure and unadulterated, and I will cherish this card forever.” 

This child of mine is a blessing from God. He loves me unconditionally and I do not remember a day where he has ever been critical of me. One day, while watching a Hindi channel showing a Poonam Dhillon (Bollywood actress) song, I said to my daughter, “Mansi some people tell me I look like this heroine, do you think I look like her.?” Mansi replied, -“Mom, you kind of look like her.” Then all excited she asked her dad- “Oooh dad, is this your favorite actress because she looks like mom?” Dad put a damper on her cute question by saying- “No, not really, not my favorite actress.” Armaan chimed in “Mom is so much prettier than this actress!" He does mean what he says and I love him for it. Love is exuberant and effusive praise. Love is honest and loyal support. 

He wrote me a beautiful poem when he was eight years old.

 

Love indeed is a special bond between two people, a heart to heart connection! 

Let’s move on to Romantic love or love between grownups. I remember having crushes in my teen years. It would always start with a face popping in your head whether you wanted it there or not. As much as you wanted to kick that face out it would pop in right back like Jack in the box. The good thing about crushes is that they always fade away and more often than not you end up thinking, “How could I ever like that person? What was wrong with me, how foolish was I; he seems so unworthy and undesirable right now!” 

I got married really young and the pinnacle of my ecstatic and euphoric experience of love was the charming and magical courtship period when my husband and I were engaged but not married yet. My heart thumped with excitement when he would call and I would run at 100 miles per hour to the phone and we would talk for endless hours multiple times a day. He sent me cards and gifts and we went on motorbike rides and dinner dates. When he would visit and I wanted to be alone with him, I would ask my sisters to leave the room and they would get really upset because they thought I was rejecting them and was all consumed with their would be jijaji (brother in law). He made me a mix tape of my favorite Bollywood songs and when I would be apart from him, I would listen to those songs, think of him and cry my heart out. I was quite dramatic. 

There is a saying that before you get married you talk and listen to each other but after you get married, husband and wife argue and the neighbors listen! Luckily for us, our neighbors do not have much to complain about (hopefully!! ) but marriage does put a damper on romance because you have to think about mundane things like grocery, laundry, paying bills, driving kids here and there, doing dishes and so on. Criticism from your partner hurts, however honest and well intentioned it may be. One of my single friends told me that she celebrates Valentine’s Day as Independence Day and she will never get married as whenever she sees couples in the mall they are always arguing or not looking too happy together!  However, love is never lost. It gets hidden; we need to take the time to uncover it, nurture it, and make it stronger. Dinner dates without kids always help and we also make a promise that we will not talk about our kids when we are having an evening out without them. When my husband makes me laugh and we are having a good time, it’s the best feeling in the world. Love is when he hugs me close if I am feeling sad and crying and he wipes away my tears, love is when he hands me a glass of wine, and love is when he gets me an Advil and water when I am complaining about a headache. Love is friendship, love is intimacy, love is forgiveness and love is laughter.

Love is quite a phenomenon and my simple blog cannot even begin to unravel or decipher its mysteries. Love is for you all to savor, to experience, to give and to receive. Henry Miller has wisely said, “The one thing we can never get enough of is love. The one thing we can never give enough of is love “

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About the column: Midlife Moments is a slice of my life as a forty something part time reference librarian and a full time mom to three children. I am a simple and honest person and I write from my heart with honesty and humor. These are simple essays on day to day life filled with interesting interactions and observations. I hope that the readers can relate to me and my experiences and we can all connect and join in the conversation.

About the author: Mona Verma has a master’s in English Literature and a master’s in Library and Information science. She grew up in India but has been living in South east USA for the last 18 years. You can read more of her blogs at : https://www.richlandlibrary.com/user/417

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