Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Le Jour D'Amour

For Dad, on this day of love, he was greeted by a plate of heart shaped sugar cookies frosted in pink and red. Those cookies were Dad's and I don't remember ever partaking of one. Surely Mom must have given us one~~but maybe not. Valentine's Day was for him.

And for her.

I was maybe eight years old and Dad was coming home with a surprise. It was Valentine's Day, and I waited by the front door in the company of my four year old sister. Like a flash, a darting comet, a mugger who turns the corner, the little red Mustang pulled into the driveway out of nowhere.

Mom's Valentine gift.

The sugar cookies became my tradition. Soft, large, heart shaped. Each year for my daughters and for Tony.

I've made them for young women, so they wouldn't feel compromised on this confidence boosting or inflating day. I've made them for my entire classes after a meaningful presentation on soft hearts vs. hard hearts.

Today I made them for the women I visit teach, and for our first storytelling cafe, which the theme is love stories. Of course.

I  made them for five beautiful girls in my AP Literature class who have complained in the past few days that they have not received val-o-grams--the high school money maker and status builder/breaker. We will also read and explicate some of the world's most enduring love poems: Shakepeare's sonnets, Anne Bradstreet's poem to her dear and loving husband, Andrew Marvel's To His Coy Mistress (scandalous), Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Shelley's Love's Philosophy and more.

This morning, Tony said, "If you feel like it there may be something in the freezer for Valentine's Day." After a late night of baking, frosting, and eating sugar cookies, ice cream in the freezer didn't sound so appetizing. After he'd left for work, I peeked into a bottom drawer as instructed and found a J CREW bag. For a moment, I was stunned he had bought me clothes. What a departure from his language of love: food (is that a love language?). Seconds later, the tricky bag trick revealed my typical, wonderful, predictable Tony: two pints of premium ice cream.

How appropriate it is to love the day of love~~and of course, I am wearing red.