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(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/valentines-message-midlife-moms/valentines/)They say falling in love is for the young. I heartily (pun intended) disagree.
The whole notion of Love being a province where cherubic cupids take aim with arrows of outrageous infatuation at the innocent youth is an archetypical illusion.
Love—true love—is for the old.
Why? Because—far from sitting on the sidelines of meaningful relationships as if we’re “past it”—it’s when we enter midlife that we begin to have a notion of what lasting love is.
What we felt or experienced in our teens, 20’s or even 30’s was merely the journey to Mecca—which is really a shrine of divine wisdom. Ergo, you have sayings like “youth is wasted on the young.”
In fact, it’s love that’s wasted. We were all nosing around like blind newborn puppies for the teat of truth. We were following a yearning which—let’s face it—far from soulful urges towards finding a soul mate, were probably the leaps and eddies of hormonal happenstance.
Looking back, I can see there were all kinds of love jokers in the deck of life—and they made us act like the Sultans of Silly. It’s taken decades for me to be able to admit some of the cringe-factor-8 behavior I engaged in for LOVE.
Back in the late 60’s, I can still remember my tween-aged sister, kissing her Donny Osmond wall poster goodnight before she went to bed. To her, that was love.
For me it was penning a sickly love note to David Cassidy and believing the only barrier between me, him and abiding in everlasting mutual adoration was a few thousand miles and a lucky letter away.
I won’t even mention Barry Manilow, the Bay City Rollers, Ryan O’Neal, Rob Lowe, or Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta and the origin of “duh!”), lest everyone start reaching for the de rigueur hurl bag.
Nor will I include all the Toads I kissed because my powers of observation had yet to be sufficiently honed by age to see through the princely camouflage garb.
Of course, no midlife love story could be compleat, without mention of the First Marriage, entered into at 26, with all the blind and blissful ignorance of the grand prize winner at a guillotine party.
And, by the time I got to my second marriage, at 41, the great recession turned our lives into a gong show of financial stress before the honeymoon even got off to a fornicating start.
Not so long ago, I found myself staring at my two, beautiful and innocent children tearing myself apart over how I was going to afford the life I so dearly wanted to give them.
This was not the romantic dream I had imagined for my husband and family. It was a life of challenge.
Far from throwing open to window sing out “Romeo, wherefore art thou…?” I was on my knees in MacArthur Park drowning out Richard Harris with the cry that someone had left my cake out in the rain.
I wasn’t sure if I could take it. It took so long to bake it.
At 50, I realized, I would never have that recipe again. Oh no.
But, in the end, I realized that there was another song, another dream, I wasn’t listening to, nor seeing.
It’s about what love really is. It’s the song and the dream of the old and wise.
Love is, although the world is falling down around you both, having a partner in life who will look you in the eyes and tell you they love you.
Love is, when you are on your knees, ready to relinquish your life’s dream, having a partner who refuses let you do it.
Love is, after 10 years of sailing often inhospitable seas and nearly drowning together, having a partner who can still make you laugh at the ridiculous.
Love is, sharing children who—despite all of your flaws and shortcomings—return your love unconditionally and completely.
Love is a knowing that—of all the loves on earth—there is only one certain to last forever—a family’s.
Thank you, God, for our two beautiful little Valentines.
Notes for this blog:
Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/) (www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40.
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