This week's Sunday Scribblings, woefully late (and I can't even blame the holiday).
I was feeling a little alone and unloved, so it was very hard to get into this post without feeling whiny and wistful and self-pitying. Blech.
I thought about this for several days before it occurred to me that my hyper-romantic brain may be outshouting my hyper-literal brain. It was then I could start to write.
My first love was two, but one. Strong, supportive arms, smiling, loving faces. The Parents. That singular but separate unit.
My parents taught me the most important things. How to smile, how to share, how to argue, how to tie my shoes and brush my hair and teeth.
From them I learned to be generous without being taken advantage of. To be kind without being a sucker. To do good for good's sake, not for my own. To stand up for my beliefs, but to be willing to listen to others'. To be firm, but not unyielding. To be strong without being hard.
They taught me that there's always enough love to go around. And that you can argue, fight, shout, and still love. That forgiveness requires understanding on both sides.
From them I learned that giving a gift means choosing what the receiver wants, not what you think they should want or have. That true giving requires knowledge, time and attention, not money.
They taught me that life isn't fair. Sometimes, it downright sucks. But they also taught me that hugs - while they may not fix a problem - go a long way toward making it bearable.
They let me be independent, because I know that even with 1,000 miles between us, they're there for me. My family isn't close, geographically or by communication. We talk infrequently, and visit even less so. But we're a solid, unbreakable unit.
My parents showed me love, taught me to love, were there for me when love disappointed. Because of them, I have love, can give love, have known love and survived heartbreak.
The first faces I saw and the first I recognized. First and always. My parents, my first love(s).