Monday, March 12, 2007

Love Notes New and Old

I cleaned out Jake's backpack yesterday. Amid the flotsam and jetsam that usually collects over the course of the week, I found a piece of scrap green bar paper. It was folded in half like a greeting card. On the front was a decorative (I assume it was intended to be decorative anyway) grid. The inside said "To Jacob" then "I love you!" then a drawing of a clown. And the "I love you!" was scribbled over but clearly legible. He told me it was from Olivia. Now, Olivia is a very sweet, pretty little girl. Her family usually sits a pew or two ahead of us in church. She and Jake furtively wave at each other when they file into the pew - hands held waist high with a quick and decisive flap while looking in the other direction. It's adorable in an I-want-to-like-you-but-you-have-cooties sort of way. I can just see her writing her little note, then deciding that she can't actually admit that she loves a boy. So she scribbled it out. Jake was so cavalier about the whole thing. When I asked him if he wanted to keep it, he said, "Hm? Yeah. OK." and then went back to watching TV. Hm? Yeah? OK? That's all the poor girl gets? She drew a clown, for crying out loud! A CLOWN! I put it on his desk, just in case his attitude was a facade. He can moon over it (or not) in private. I have a slightly more mature note on my desk. On our first Valentine's Day together, Nick gave me a single red rose, a glass box with a fabric rose inside, and a small handwritten note. It's written on a scrap of paper and folded just like Olivia's note. And it says everything but "I love you." After all these years, I can see the "I love you" hidden in the words Nick chose. He more or less scribbled over them with words like "important to me" and "care for you deeply." But the "I love you" is legible to the experienced heart. I am not a sentimental woman, but I keep that little glass box on my desk hidden behind my computer monitor. It's not for everyone to see - I just like knowing that it's there. I am not foolish enough to believe that Jacob and Olivia will be life-long loves. But Olivia's note is the start of something big for Jake. She loves him not because of any familial obligation, but simply because she sees something special in him. I hope that Jacob learns to read through the scribbles and see the love that is offered to him from the many (I assume - he's charming) girls that he will meet. And I hope that one day, he finds a girl special enough that he scribbles it back.

4 comments:

Lisa said...

Aw, that's sweet. :-) Both Jacob's note and yours from Nick.

Karen said...

Oh you know I would be keeping it, putting it away for him to have later.

I am surprised to hear you have your own sentimental item though. :)

Nicki said...

How sweet! Keep that forever! I often think that love expressed in words other than "I love you" is more important and heartful than the three little words.

justkc said...

Waaaaaaaaaaaa. You make me cry. In a good way.