A friend recently posted a sweet Valentine's Day idea on Facebook. He took his wife out for dinner and gave her a written list of "30 Random things" that he loves about her.
I am a little late for Valentine's Day, but I have been thinking lately about the people I love and what they have taught me. Here are some of the not-so-random things I have learned from my family. (Happy very-belated Valentine's Day! I love you all.)
Sister # 1 taught me that I can be anything I want to be. She has been a lawyer, a writer, a home repair guru, a lawyer again, and a rock of support for sisters # 2, 3 and 4. If she decides to do something, by George, you know she's gonna do it. She never ceases to amaze me.
Sister # 3 taught me that I should do the things I love, and do them a hundred percent. She has a wonderful, unique ability to open her heart and mind, and she gives her all - all the time. She has a childlike joy that makes everyone smile. She never ceases to amaze me.
Sister # 4 taught me that my hurts don't have to define me. She has a core of steel, wrapped in a soft shell of compassion. She is honest but never cruel. I still think of her as the baby, but in many ways she is more mature than I am. She never ceases to amaze me.
My husband taught me that it is more important to be kind than to be right. He always thinks of the other person first. He genuinely likes people, even when I point out the many reasons why he should not. He is everything I someday hope to be. He never ceases to amaze me.
My daughter taught me that deep, lifelong connections are the key to happiness. She calls me at least once a day. I treasure each call. She nurtures her friendships and lets people know they are important to her. She never ceases to amaze me.
My older son taught me that God allows U-turns. He decided one day that he would take charge of his life. And then he did. He has apparently forgiven me for my shortcomings as a mom. I will always be grateful for that. He never ceases to amaze me.
My younger son taught me that it's ok to be imperfect. Life is a journey, and the road is not always straight. He just keeps trucking on, with a smile on his face and a kiss for his mom. He is sweet and he always tells the truth. He never ceases to amaze me.
And Riley? Little Riley has only begun to teach me things. So far she has taught me that getting older is wonderful, because it means I can be her grandma. She has taught me that there's always something new to learn, and that you should hurry up and learn it because then you can start learning something else. And she has taught me that every bedtime requires at least two stories, three kisses and fourteen hugs. She never ceases to amaze me.