A Special Valentine
One of the most difficult and yet most rewarding jobs I’ve taken on in my life is being godmom to three beautiful kids. Of the three, two are the children of my best friend. They are amazing girls, the older is eleven and the younger is eight.
My older goddaughter is brilliant and strong and quite the tomboy, but she’s also a fantastically sweet young girl. She loves to give me little presents and show me stuff she’s got squirreled away in her room. My first day at the house is usually a parade of “hey Nina Karen! Look at this!”
She’ll show me books she’s read, or things she’s made, or something she got at school. Mostly, she wants me to see something she likes and say I like it too. It’s very affirming for her. For some reason, Nina Karen’s approval matters and I’m happy to give it away…or hold it back when she’s misbehaving. I can guilt that kid like no one’s business.
On this most recent trip back to New Mexico, as I sat in the kitchen catching up with my dearest friend in the world, my eleven-year-old godkid came into the kitchen with a shy grin.
“What’s up?” I asked, because I knew she was up to something. It’s that Nina intuition.
She held out her hand and grinned. There in her palm was a rock. A simple small dark volcanic rock. She looked very pleased.
“Hey, look at that!” I said, being encouraging all the while wondering why she was showing me a rock.
“It’s for you!” she said, very excited.
Well. Ok. So I took the rock while she bounced on the balls of her feet.
“It’s a heart, Nina Karen!” she said, now exasperated that I wasn’t getting it.
I looked a little closer. “Oh! You’re right, it sure is!” I said. I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes. “Where’d you find it?”
Out tumbled the story. She had been cleaning up rocks from the pasture out back because they are going to plant oats to feed to the pigs they are going to get because she and her sister are in 4H and they are going to show pigs this year and when she found the heart shaped rock it made her think of me and she wanted me to have it.
Whew! It came out just like that. All one long sentence with hardly any punctuation.
It may not be the most fancy valentine I’ve ever received, but it is as dear to me as any gem.
A gift of a rock from a sweet eleven-year-old tomboy might just be the meaning of true love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!